Helping Children Cope with Changes from The New Normal

Children learn from what they see, and for this reason, adults and parents should handle Covid 19 calmly and confidently so they can provide the best support for them. Parents and caregivers who are better prepared will likely offer the most reassurance to others, which is especially true for young impressionable children.
Not all children will respond the same way to the stressors brought on by the Covid 19 pandemic, but there are some common changes to watch for. Some examples are excessive crying or irritation, returning to behaviors they have outgrown, excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, poor school performance, and difficulties with attention and concentration. 
Ways to Support Your Child 
Talk with your child about the Covid 19 pandemic and answer any questions they may have while sharing facts about covid 19 in a way your child will be able to understand. Limit your family's exposure to news coverage, including social media, because they may misinterpret what they witness and become frightened. Reassure your child that they are safe and let them know it is okay to feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your stress so that they can learn coping skills from you. 
Some other suggestions would be spending time with your child in meaningful activities, reading together, exercising, playing board games. Remember also that being a role model also means taking care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Now that things are opening up, you can connect with friends and family members, and the support you gain from them can go a long way.
Maintain a Consistent Routine
Children find security when schedules and routines are kept consistent. Maintaining consistent bedtimes, mealtimes, and playtimes can help provide a sense of safety for a child. This level of predictability around their basic needs sends them calming messages both socially and biologically. 
Some other routines that you will want to be consistent with are getting up at the same time in the morning, bath times and nap times, and outdoor play. Even your schedules of housework, cooking, and cleaning will reassure them if you remain consistent.
Wear Face Masks
Wearing face masks in public will not only teach your child responsible behavior, but it will also get them in the habit of protecting themselves from the threat of infection. Surgical face masks are one solution because they are disposable, and you can send your child to school with extras. Still, cloth masks are highly recommended because they are durable and will stand up to your child's daily routine and eating habits.
A cloth mask should be double layered and fit snugly on the face covering the nose and mouth. Face masks should be worn indoors and while traveling. This includes travel on a school bus, plane, train, or other forms of public transportation. The more you can do to reassure and protect your child, the better it will go for everyone involved.

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