How to Help Your Children Thrive During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Navigating the COVID-19 can be challenging, especially for children. Here are some tips on how to talk to your children about COVID-19 and help them thrive during this uncertain time.
Step #1: What is the goal of your conversation?
The first step is to understand what your goals are when having this conversation with your children:
Is it to help them process the crisis?
To help them feel safe?
To help them manage stress?
All of the above?
It’s important to frame our current environment as an opportunity for growth. By turning this situation into a learning opportunity, you are helping your child learn how to grow and thrive during a crisis.
Step #2: Help your children understand & express their feelings
After determining what the goal of your conversation is with your child, the next step is to help your child understand what is happening and help them express their feelings in a healthy way. Here are some tips on how to do this:
Allow your child to express their feelings. Make sure to be non-judgmental.
Meet your child where he/she is at. Reach them on their level. Sometimes, children are unable to understand abstract ideas because their prefrontal lobe isn’t completely developed and they won’t know what to do with that information.
Express empathy and understanding.
Develop a specific plan to help them thrive in crisis (see step #3).
#3 Develop a 3-tier plan of action
Here are three concrete steps to developing a course of action to help provide stability, safety and comfort to your child during this difficult time:
#1 Mono-focus on a new purpose
The world has been turned upside down. Refocus your efforts and energy on a new purpose that helps you and your family find joy under these current circumstances. Perhaps the goal is to focus more on positivity, more family time, improve upon a skill, read books, etc. Find a way to find happiness during a time when so much has been taken away.
#2 Focus on self-care
We cannot stress the importance of self-care. Develop a routine; incorporate frequent exercise, enough sleep and healthy foods. Practicing self-care for your child will help prevent depression and subsequently traumatic stress caused by COVID-19.
#3 Strengthen the family system
How will you make most of this time together as a family? Lean into each other. Whether by playing games, singing songs, reaching out to neighbors or family you haven’t spoken to in awhile, use this opportunity to move through this difficult time together.
All of these tips will help teach your children that when trouble hits, this is what they can do to make themselves feel better, how they can help their community and how they can grow during a crisis.
We want to also emphasize the importance of knowing when you need help. Reach out to friends, family and professionals when the stress becomes too much and too overwhelming.
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak, our commitment to our patients remains our #1 priority. At GUTS OC, we have expanded our online therapy services to meet the growing need for individuals to receive mental health support while under quarantine. Our therapy/counseling services are being offered via phone, chat or video. Read our list of services and issues we treat here. Everyone needs a little extra help sometimes.
Contact us for a consultation today (714.730.0838).
About GUTS OC:
We combine mental health services and state-of-the-art technology to help our patients obtain long-term results faster. Our specialties include therapy, micro current neurofeedback and life coaching. Our evidence-based approach has helped thousands of individuals, couples and families who have sought our help over the past 22 years. Our trained specialists are committed to educating & empowering our patients with the skills and mindset to live successful, happy lives.
GUTS OC is based in Tustin, CA but provides services to all of Orange County through in-person sessions and/or virtual therapy sessions via phone, chat or video.