It’s no secret that traumatic events and disrupted routines can impact children’s mental health. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are wondering how this period of isolation and uncertainty will affect their kids.
Fortunately, there are many ways parents and caregivers can ease the emotional blow of this difficult experience.
HuffPost spoke to von Lob and other experts to find out what parents can do to care for their children’s mental health during this time of social distancing. Keep scrolling for 14 ways to provide a sense of comfort, safety, protection and support.
“Consistency and structure are very calming during times of uncertainty and stress,” said von Lob. “So set up a schedule which works for you and your family, ensuring you have regular mealtimes and a consistent wake-up and bedtime.”
Breaking down activities into 60- or 90-minute chunks can be helpful for kids, especially if you set a timer to let them know when things will begin and end. Try to schedule activities they like after the ones that they dislike. Getting kids involved in the planning process can also help reduce the shock of this transition and give them a sense of control.
“Set up at least a simple routine,” said Natasha Daniels, a child therapist and creator of AnxiousToddlers.com. She emphasized the power of establishing predictability and normalcy during an unpredictable and abnormal time.
“You can create a routine or stimulate your kids around activities they find fun and entertaining,” she added. “Learning life skills, going on nature walks or having a baking class can create some good memories and structure during this time.”
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