Managing Kid's Anxiety and Worry During These Uncertain Times
Experts say that dealing with your own anxiety in these uncertain times can be the most powerful way to make sure your kids feel secure.
Routine is Important
Children need routine and predictability in order to feel safe. This is especially important during a time of crisis. Kids should get up, eat and go to bed at their normal times. Consistency and structure are calming during times of stress. Kids, especially younger ones or those who are anxious, benefit from knowing what’s going to happen and when. It is easy for children to get bored or fretful if they are facing a day without structure, and anxiety can thrive under those circumstances.
- Grab a pen and paper and map out how the days will look at home...
- When are they used to having breakfast? Snack? Lunch?
- When is recess?
- Break the day into small chunks much like school does with subjects.
- If your child has schoolwork to complete, do they do best in the morning or afternoon?
Setting a timer will help kids know when activities are about to begin or end. Having regular reminders will help head off meltdowns when it’s time to transition from one thing to the next. The goal is to keep kids busy and learning while allowing you to get other things done too.
Staying informed about the situation is important, but it’s a good idea to limit consumption of news and social media that has the potential to feed your anxiety, and that of your kids. Turn the TV off and mute or unfollow friends or co-workers who are prone to sharing panic-inducing posts.
Unless kids ask specifically, there’s no reason to volunteer information that might worry them.