Wearing face masks and observing social distancing is tough for adults, but it is even tougher for children. Getting a child to keep their face coverings on at the mall is difficult. What about at school where you are not always watching? And will they remember to maintain social distancing? Have the talk.
Tell them why
Talk to your child about returning to school during COVID 19. It will help them process their feelings and understand why all the safety precautions are necessary. Approach the discussion with empathy, and explain things in a straightforward manner:
- What COVID 19 is
- Why safety precautions are important
- How to stay safe at school
Acknowledge their feelings
Your child may have questions or even feel more anxious after this talk. Be ready to acknowledge their feelings. Reassure them that they are safe as long as they observe the safety guidelines. Remind them that millions of adults worldwide are working to find a solution to end the virus.
One thing that is heavy on your child’s mind is isolation. They will be anxious about not being able to socialize with friends. Help them to prepare for the social distancing mentally. Help them understand that they can talk to friends or even make more online.
Fear and frustration
Children might have fears of getting the virus when back in school. They may be reluctant to return to school. Emphasize the benefits of hand washing, social distancing, and face coverings. Remind the kids about the advantages of going back to school, learning new things, and seeing friends.
Personalize the talk
For your pre-school and school-age children, find exciting playful ways to drive the message home. Turn it into a song or dance, something memorable. On the other hand, teenagers can handle a lot more information and may ask many adult-level questions after the discussion.
We can help
Your child’s anxiety, fear, and frustration about returning to school during COVID should be addressed right away and provide an open line of communication throughout the entire school year. COVID 19 has increased the rate of mental illnesses, including anxiety disorder and depression. Take positive steps before serious issue develop.
At ACT Family Counseling, we can help. We offer teletherapy sessions via video, chat, and SMS. Let us help you and the child right where you are. Get started now.