The Covid-19 pandemic has been a particular struggle for families with young children. As they have transitioned to remote schooling, lost out on extracurricular opportunities, and been without their usual opportunities for socialization, the toll on their emotional well-being has been severe. To help support your child’s mental health throughout the pandemic, try following these simple tips.
1. Spend quality time together
Trying to get through working from home, remote schooling, and other demands of life it can be easy to forget to spend family time together. However, remember that your child is used to spending hours a day socializing with friends and teachers. Kids need a very high amount of social interaction throughout the day to feel like their needs are satisfied.
Set aside sometime every day to spend together as a family where you spend dedicated time talking with and playing with your child, whether that be by sitting together as a family to play a board game or reading some books together before bed every night.
2. Get outside
Most school children spend at least an hour playing outside every day. In addition to being a fun way to spend their time, it’s also critical for a child’s emotional and physical health. Getting lots of physical exercise is a necessary part of a child’s day, and spending time outside in the sunshine and fresh air will help a child be able to focus and relax.
Spend some time every day taking your family outside to play. They can simply play a game of tag in the backyard, or if you don’t have a backyard space of your own, taking a family walk throughout the neighborhood or through a local park can work wonders as well.
3. Keep in touch with family and friends
Even for kids who are old enough to understand why they can’t visit their grandparents or friends, it can still feel frustrating and upsetting to not see them for so long. Make sure to keep in touch with all of the important people in your child’s life, even when they can’t visit each other in person.
Set up a regular video chatting playdate with your child’s friends, or help them to send a letter or postcard to their relatives. Finding creative ways to stay in touch can also be a great outlet for emotional and creative energy for your child while they are spending their time at home with family.
4. Have patience
Remember that as hard as this pandemic has been for you and the other adults in your life, it’s been just as hard if not harder on your kids. Your children may be extra difficult, emotional, or short-tempered during this time. It’s understandable for anyone to be off their usual good behavior when they’re dealing with something so challenging.
Have some grace for your children and give them space to be upset and to express their emotions. What they need right now is support, care, and patience. Eventually, the world will return to normal, and they’ll be back to