News

5 Tips For Parents With Kids During Coronavirus

5 Tips For Parents With Kids During Coronavirus

Tips_For_Parents_Colour copy.jpg

  1. Have realistic expectations of your children and yourself. With any major change, expect that it will take time for everyone to adjust and adapt to a new normal. Our capacity to get things done will be compromised due to the stress and fatigue this transition brings. This applies for our children and for ourselves. So have realistic expectations of how much schoolwork your children will learn and complete as well as how much work you will get done at home while you’re juggling both roles. Having reasonable expectations can lead to less frustration all round.
  2. Establish predictable daily routines. Children thrive on structure and it gives them a sense of security and normality in this unpredictable and challenging time. Develop a routine that includes a range of activities for example, meal times, school work, physical activity, creative play, rest time, family time and limited amounts of screen time. 
  3. Tune into your child’s feelings. Recognise and accept that your children might be feeling confused, worried/fearful, sad, frustrated, stressed or have mixed feelings at this time. Different children express strong feelings in different ways (e.g. by becoming withdrawn, avoiding things, perfectionism, more tantrums, aggression, impulsivity, inattentiveness, refusing to do things). As parents, we need to provide our children safety and security by helping them to regulate their feelings. Give your children opportunities to ask questions, talk about their feelings; and validate, empathise and normalise what they are feeling. Another way to help children make sense of their different emotions is by reading them books about feelings. (e.g. Trace Moroney’s The Feelings Series for preschoolers). Children will also cope better if they are given factual, age-appropriate information about Covid-19, and what they can do to stay well and stop the spread of it. Censor and limit the amount of media and information about Covid-19 your children consume. Reassure your children that this situation won’t last forever, help them to focus on the positives and what they can be grateful for. 
  4. Stay connected. Being connected to others is important for our mental and physical wellbeing. Dr Bruce Perry, Psychiatrist and trauma expert says “The most powerful buffer in times of stress and distress is our social connectedness; so let’s all remember to stay physically distant but emotionally close. Reach out and connect.” 
  5. Look after yourself. Just as we’re instructed in the event of decompression on a flight to secure our own mask before we assist our child’s, it’s important that we look after ourselves as well. Try to get enough sleep, exercise regularly, engage in pleasurable activities, catch up with friends (virtually), and find ways to relax/soothe. Our children pick up on our stress and anxiety and we can role model good mental health hygiene by following some of these tips. Tag team with your spouse and schedule regular time out from home and work responsibilities. If you’re struggling to cope, seek support (and prayer) from your church family and/or professional help. 

20190520_130741.jpgThe author Rowena Wong is Registered Psychologist who works at Tresillian Family Care Centres and in private practice. She’s married to Terence and they have two teenage daughters, Juliet and Elise. They attend the GracePoint Lidcombe morning service.

Share:

Related Posts