Is the Coronavirus Scaring Your Kids? 8 Ways to Be Your Child's Leader During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Holly Budde
If you’re like me, you have kids missing school, seeing local activities shut down and fearing the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless of how you try to protect them from news of panic, they are talking to friends and hear it anyway. My advice? Be the leader!
Leaders don’t induce, promote or relish in panic. Leaders find a way to calm those things. Leaders listen and then offer solutions. It’s hard as a mom to tell your kids it’s “fine” when you yourself are witnessing things you’ve never seen before. But you’re a leader and a parent, and they are coming to you for just that. Here’s a few keynotes I’ve been using with my kids:
- Be honest that it is a serious illness, like many outbreaks before, and we have to be wise and cautious and take preventive action.
- Tell them to “wash your hands like you don’t want mom to see it!” Set up cleaning stations at the door. I’m a clean freak. I’ve always had hand sanitizer at the utility entrance for kids and friends so they don’t see this as weird, but I now have extra at front and back doors.
- Encourage them to take the extra time off school to do something that they have been thinking of doing. Encourage projects and art. Have a movie day. Get their help in the garden for spring. Paint the room you’ve been dreading. All of this is stuff that allows you to think of only what you’re doing now and thus calms anxieties. Or just give them the afternoon to just be. TV. Videos. Whatever they are doing isn’t really a waste of time if it’s easing their worries.
- I’ve read that being outside and in the sun is a good idea. Plan the day outside. Don’t go to crowded places, find a nature trail or play ball outside. Have a picnic. Drive to a quiet beach and beachcomb. Take a road trip for two hours and see what you find.
- Let them vent to you. Let them worry out loud to you and listen without distractions. They need and want your attention.
- Keep assuring them that you are taking every precaution and if they were to become sick you would do anything needed to get them well.
- Bear in mind your teenagers are exposed to beliefs that may be different than your own. Don’t argue it. Listen and then calm their fears – they will be more receptive to you.
- Keep your own personal fears and anxieties quiet around them. Don’t let them overhear you talking differently than you talk to them.
This is new to me. Though I’ve seen many world health scares before, I don’t recall school closings, store shelves being bare or events canceling. So, I try to keep perception with my kids. Realizing the severity of it and calming them at the same time. I encourage you to be the leader at home. Panic isn’t healthy.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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