Children’s Mental Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Children’s Mental Health

Children are constantly watching the adults in their life to gather information and learn how to feel and act during difficult or scary situations. Children are watching and listening right now, as widespread panic sets in about COVID-19.  Schools across the U.S. are closing their doors for extended periods of time, leaving children with no routine. Take a deep breath. 

Here are some tips on how you can help your child’s mental health (and maybe your own) regarding COVID-19:

Limit the amount of media your child is consuming and keep adult-like discussions about your worries and anxiety about COVID-19 away from your children. 

Talk to your kids about what is going on at a developmentally appropriate level. Stay calm and reassuring while talking to your kids about COVID-19. Again your kids are picking up on your worry, so the less you worry, the less they will worry.  If you need help on how to talk to your children visit this link: 

https://m.kidshealth.org/ChildrensMercy/en/parents/coronavirus-how-talk-child.html?WT.ac=clk_fromdesk&fbclid=IwAR28fRvtBCZvUzZhVeL2y7-W7d85lsemLH7W6XHhlIMtCy-IJhrPmRxH8e8

During social distancing, try to establish and keep a routine for your household. With many children being out of school for an extended amount of time, routines will be key to minimizing boredom. 

Along with routines, schedule time for fun. If your child will be going to different family members' homes while you work, make a calendar that shows your child who will be taking care of them each day to reduce worry. 

When you are at home together build a blanket fort in the living room, have arts and crafts time, explore a virtual museum together, read books together, and play games together. 

Kansas weather isn’t always great, but embrace rainy days and playing in the mud. Or enjoy an outside adventure in your yard when the weather is nice.

Here are some links to activities to try:

 https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours?fbclid=IwAR3lhF2EfuuopbnWed9WlE66KMood8ESxWQPXmd1oVj9766g9KcdSaGCMak 
https://www.learning4kids.net/list-of-sensory-play-ideas/

https://familyeguide.com/boredom-busters-110-fun-at-home-activities-for-families-kids-2/

By: Alice Bouts, LMSW – Mental Health Specialist