As adults, we’re all still getting used to life with more time at home, but for kids? Adjusting to “the new normal” may be even tougher as they face the start of the new school year with lots of changes, thanks to COVID-19 - especially for those who will be learning remotely. Parents are doing the best they can and these tips from child psychiatrists on how to support children and their mental health can help.
- Maintain a daily routine- Child psychiatrists Dr.Anju Hurriaand Dr.Kevin Simonboth say having a structured routine is important and suggest writing it on a white board so kids know what to expect during the day. Hurria also suggests adding fun activities, like Friday movie nights, so kids can look forward to those.
- Get moving- Physical activity is important for their physical and mental health and kids need to burn off all that energy and have fun, plus it’ll help them sleep better.
- Limit negative news- Empower kids with information on how to stay safe, like hand-washing and social distancing, but steer clear of the news coverage that can be overwhelming and stressful, even for adults.
- Keep up social connections- Set up virtual playdates and calls with friends and for older children and teens, try low-risk activities like socially distanced walks with friends outside.
- Check inregularly- Ask your kids “How are you doing with everything?” and encourage them to open up about their feelings.
- Build hope and a sense of purpose- With more free time on their hands this summer, it’s helpful for kids to find a hobby or project they’re passionate about, like growing a garden or learning to play guitar. Hurria says this helps them “focus outside of themselves.”
Source:Good Morning America