6 ways to help children cope with the pandemic crisis
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We did not expect to find ourselves still having to manage ‘the storm’ in the aftermath of the earlier Covid-19 outbreaks.
The circumstances that we are in are not normal, and therefore the anxiety and uncertianty you feel right now is completely okay.
But what about the effect of the pandemic on our children? We need to give them hope by projecting it as a learnable, measurable skill. It entails making a conscious decision to find ways to make it through the pandemic, and deal with anxiety from a basis of optimism.
Here are 6 ways we can help children in the Covid-19 pandemic:
1. Addressing the elephant in the room: Addressing and acknowledging the difficulties of the current scenario gives us a reality check, and a starting point to work on our goals moving forward. It’s important for us to carve out time for children and allow them to share how they feel.
2. Asking the right questions: It is important to ask the right questions relevant to what the child is feeling in order to help them understand what is going on, and their role in overcoming the problem.
3. Sharing positive thoughts: In addition to validating how they feel, sharing examples with children about people overcoming hardships or failing repeatedly and then succeeding, helps children understand that no one has it easy. Use examples that reflect an understanding of the child’s feelings, and validate their efforts to cope with what is going on.
4. Savouring the moments: Use opportunities to engage children in framing current events/experiences as ‘moments in time’, ones that will pass eventually. Getting family members to create a time capsule or write letters to their future selves about their experiences, on what progress was made and what they see ahead, can be something you can do together as a family.
5. Having the right mindset: Your mindset or frame of mind affects how you think, and what you do. It also helps you make sense of the world and the circumstances you are going through. Finding hope would means that w need to affirm our sense of control over our challenges.
6. Finding new meaning: Every situation, whether we are dealing with uncertainty, panic or grief can be a place where we can derive new meaning for ourselves. Hope can be made concrete through our beliefs, values, identity, and sense of purpose.
One of the biggest effects the pandemic has had is to make us feel like we have to face things alone.
It is okay to reach out beyond friends and family for support. For now, the world continues to be in a difficult state of uncertainty, but the enduring lessons of hope are ones we can carry with us moving forward.
Source: The Counseling Team, Canadian International School.