Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition - 10

TIPS & TRENDS

Parents in a Pandemic:
Helping Children of All Ages Cope
KRISTIN M. WHITE
SENIOR CONTENT MANAGER,
WORLDWIDE ERCĀ®
Send your article ideas,
letters, and feedback to
mobility@worldwideerc.org.

A

s day cares, schools, and workplaces around the globe shut down
and turned to virtual operations to combat the spread of COVID-19,
many parents and caregivers were left struggling. While these are
challenging times for families, research across multiple sources
reveals several core areas of advice in common, applicable for
children of all ages:

*	 Communicate openly and factually. As the global situation continues to evolve,
continually assess what children already know, have heard, or have read, and give
them an opportunity to ask questions. Several resources-including the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP)-can help parents explain things in factual, age-appropriate terms.
*	 Manage or limit news consumption. Understand what sources your children are
using for information, and keep the frequency of consumption to an agreed-upon
level. Both of these efforts will help you engage in meaningful conversations about the
facts, clear up misconceptions, and impart helpful, reassuring information.
*	 Respect and validate their feelings. Watch for signs of anxiety or changes in habits.
For example, younger children may revert to outgrown behaviors, and teens may
withdraw or demonstrate excessive moodiness. Simply acknowledging that you can
see they are struggling can go a long way.
*	 Maintain routines. From sleeping and studying to eating, exercising, and enjoying
some downtime, do your best to maintain consistent and healthy routines, which
gives children of all ages a sense of predictability, calm, and control. This is especially
critical for children with high levels of anxiety or in families where co-parenting or
sharing of responsibilities in different households exists.
*	 Take care of yourself, and model good behavior. Stress can take a toll on everyone's
mental and physical health. Model good behavior in your own choices around coping
mechanisms, sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and routines. Try to establish safe opportunities for connecting with other family members and friends where possible, such as
through letters, cards, video chats, phone calls, and emails. Bring the children into the
decision-making process about fun things to do together as a family-and consider
talking about plans for the future, too, both in the immediate and long term.
Sources: CDC, AAP, The Child Mind Institute

10 Mobility | May 2020


https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/communication-discipline/Pages/Positive-Parenting-and-COVID-19_10-Tips.aspx https://www.childmind.org/article/supporting-kids-during-the-covid-19-crisis/ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/talking-with-children.html

Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition

Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition - Cover1
Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition - Cover2
Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition - 1
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Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition - Cover3
Mobility - May 2020 - Special Covid-19 Edition - Cover4
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