As this outbreak continues to evolve, fears around safety and “what will happen next” can cause stress and anxiety in adults and children. Here are some strategies to help support your child by calming fears and manage stress during this outbreak period:
- Maintain routines
- Consistency and structure provide a sense of security during stressful times
- Try to maintain routines by having your child wake up, eat, go to sleep at similar times each day
- If your household has many different routines, try making a schedule and going over it in the morning with your family
- Limit the amount of news/social media your child is exposed to regarding the outbreak
- Over consumption of panic inducing posts/information will contribute to increased stress and anxiety
- Moderate the amount exposure both you and your children have to media
- Be mindful of the information you share with your child – you don’t need to volunteer information that could worry or upset them
- Check in with your children
- Children who are being defiant or acting out may actually be feeling anxious
- Check in with your children to give them an opportunity to discuss their worries or fears
- Respond to their behaviours in a calm, comforting and consistent way.
For more information: Supporting Children During the Covid-19 Crisis.
Is your child worried about the Covid-19 outbreak? Read: Covid-19 Helpers with your child to help them understand how the adults are working together to keep them safe.
Cassie Zimmerman is the school nurse at the Canadian International School of Phnom Penh