For many children there world is being turned upside down with COVID-19, virtual learning, masks, and many other things. While we tend to focus on the physical health of our children and make sure they aren’t getting ill, we must keep up with their mental health. Our children might be experiencing things that they’ve never dealt with before so it is our job to help them manage these thoughts and feelings. We have provided 3 tips to help manage your child’s worry and anxiety.
1. Keep a consistent schedule.
This is obviously easier said than done. Now that school is back in session it should be a littler easier to keep a schedule. But if that is still a challenge to be consistent then focus on certain tasks daily. Things like morning wake-ups, breakfast time, and bedtime routine should be the same. In between these key times you can have more flexibility with what you can do (particularly in summer). During the school year these in between times are usually pretty consistent and during the summer you they can usually be the same general categories like errands, playdates, games, screen time, pool, adventures, or home play.
The main reason to try and keep a consistent schedule with your child is so that your child knows exactly what to expect next. They start to understand that when they wake up in the morning, they will have breakfast next. Knowing what to expect is a big help and provides a framework of the days. It also allows for some natural checkpoints throughout the day where we can see how he’s feeling and he can take a break from whatever hectic activity we might be involved in.
2. Tell them what’s coming up:
Communicating with your child is very important. Most children love to chat with you and tell them about their day and the random things that pop into their creative and fast moving brains. It it also essential to talk to them. If you have a big event or change coming up soon, then let them know that it’s coming. For instance, you and your spouse has a wedding to attend and your child will be spending the night elsewhere then it might be wise to prepare them. While this might not happen frequently, it can still be a big deal for your child. Talk up the things they might get to do so they hopefully are excited and prepared when the time comes. Hopefully when the times come they wont be worked up about the change because they have been able to mentally prepare.
3. Take deep breaths.
If you child does start to have anxiety it is important to remind them that a) everything will be okay, because it always is and b) to take deep breaths. Teach your child over the years that deep breaths can help calm them down. Also teach them that they can think about (or ask you) what to do next. It might sounds cliché, but taking a minute for some air and removing myself from a stressful situation is often all it takes to clear their mind and figure out what the next move is. The same goes for our little ones!
Lead by Example
A key to keeping your children happy and calm is to think about what works to keep YOU happy and calm. We all need to take a break sometimes. We need to communicate, and we need to know what to expect. As adults, you’ve had much longer to practice these skills, but your children are still learning and might need your help. This obviously might be easier said than done.
Hopefully these tips will help keep your kids – and your household – as calm as they can be.
At Precious Memories Preschool of Sandy Hollow PreSchool of Sandy Hollow, we offer a special place for children to not only grow and develop along the way, but a place for them to CELEBRATE each and every step. If you are interested in enrolling your child in our program please fill out the form on this page or call us at 860.572.9958