Helping Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Helping Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic

There are some things families can do to support their children during school closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While health and physical safety is a priority,  it is also important to consider how children are thinking, feeling and talking about what is happening around them.

Talk to Your Children:

  • Ask your child to tell you what he or she knows about COVID-19. You can share facts as needed. 
  • Help children draw pictures or other activities to express themselves.
  • Be extra patient and provide comfort if children say they are worried.
  • Limit screen time about COVID-19.  

Be Mindful of Your Routine: 

  • Mark off the days on a calendar.  Show children that school will start again in a few weeks. 
  • Keep your family’s bedtime, meal, and exercise routines consistent.
  • Find ways to include movement and physical activity, such as a dance party or yoga stretches.
  • Do things at home that have made you and your family feel better in other stressful situations, including, watching movies, listening to music, playing games, exercising, or practicing religious activities. 
  • Practice online learning that may be offered by their schools. 
  • It is normal for students to feel lonely, worried,  or bored. A regular routine can help. 
  • Include children in chores around the house so they can feel a sense of accomplishment. 
  • Limit screen time.

Care for Yourself so You Can Care for Others: 

  • As a caregiver,  take small breaks.
  • Be aware of your feelings.  See these suggestions: Ways to Untwist Your Thinking.
  • Connect with friends and family by phone, text, or email to find support. 
  • You are a role model for your children. How you handle this stressful situation can affect how your children manage their worries. 

Resources if you or your family need extra support:

  • Child Crisis: 415-970-3800
  • Safe & Sound 24 Hour Parent Talk Line: 415-441-5437
  • 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text MYLIFE to 741741
  • Trevor Project Hotline: 866-488-7386
  • Huckleberry House 24 Hour Teen Crisis Hotline: 415-621-2929
  • Mental Health, Food Pantry, and Medical Resources http://www.freeprintshop.org/

For more ideas, read: THE NATIONAL CHILD TRAUMATIC STRESS NETWORK