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