Tips for Supporting your Children's Mental Heath
Children and teens react, in part, to what they see from the adults around them. If you can deal with COVID-19 calmly and confidently, you can provide the best support for your children. You can be more reassuring to others around you, especially children, if you are better prepared.
There are many things you can do to support your child...
- Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 situation. Answer their questions and share facts about it in a way they can understand.
- Reassure your child that they are safe. Let them know it's okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so they can learn how to cope from you.
- Limit your household's exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened of something they don't understand.
- Try to keep up with your regular routines. If school is closed, create a schedule for learning, relaxing and fun activities.
- Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
Common Signs of Emotional Stress
- Excessive crying, irritation or short temper in younger children
- Returning to behaviours they've outgrown (toilet accidents,bed-wetting etc.)
- Excessive worry or sadness
- Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
- Irritability and 'acting-out' behaviour in teens
- Difficulty with attention and concentration
- Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
- Unexplained headaches or body pain
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Your child may be exhibiting signs of emotional stress but it is completely natural in such exceptional circumstances. There are plenty of services & resources available to help.
Resources to support your child's mental health
CAMHS has links to books, videos, other websites & apps, specifically for the Coronavirus situation as well as more generally about mental health and wellbeing
The Child Mind Institute have a host of valuable resources on their website to help support children during the present situation.
Emerging Minds have a number of useful ideas on their website to help support children to deal with worry and anxiety brought on by Coronavirus.
Ideas for Keeping your children busy in lockdown
One of the best ways to maintain good mental health is to keep them busy with fun activities. Play is often the best medicine!
Why not try...
- A household treasure hunt
- Crazy science experiments
- Arts & Crafts
- Den Making
- Sofa Fort Building
- Cardboard Box Pirate Ships
- Making Music
- Baking Cakes & Cookies