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Tips for Families: How to support your children during this unique time.

posted Mar 26, 2020, 11:30 AM by Susan Lowman

  1. Promote a sense of normalcy through structure and routine.

As much as possible, keep children on a normal routine and schedule.  This will provide comfort and help children feel secure. Even though children are not attending school at this time, they will still benefit from their regular bedtime and having a regular schedule during the day that has time set aside for learning activities such as the educational packets sent from your school, physical exercise and fun!

  1. Limit exposure to news, social media and conversations regarding the Coronavirus.

    Children are not able to process information shared in the news and through social 

media the way adults are able to, and it is not in their best interest to hear information that will needlessly cause fear and worry.  It is, however, important to talk to your children about what is going on by providing basic honest information, validating their feelings and answering questions they may have in terms they can understand.  Be mindful of any conversations your children may overhear.  

  1. Emphasize children’s safety.

                In conversations you have with your children, make sure they know that adults are 

working hard to keep them safe and healthy.  

  1. Model positive coping strategies.

Demonstrate a calm and confident disposition, despite how you may feel on the inside.  Children, especially the young ones, often look to the adults in their life as to how to feel in uncertain or new situations.  Model positive coping behaviors in your own life such as getting a good night’s sleep, having a routine, exercising, healthy eating and utilizing relaxation techniques.  

  1. Model good hygiene.

                Let your children see you washing your hands through the duration of singing the 

alphabet song so they know how long they should scrub before rinsing.  Model for them sneezing in the elbow, not touching your face and washing hands before touching food.

  1. Focus on the positive.

                In times like these, it is important for all of us to focus on what’s truly important:  our 

health, our friends, and our family.  Use this situation as an opportunity to spend quality 

time with your family. Take walks, talk, play games, do puzzles, color, and read 

together. Help your children to focus on the good. Even in trying times there is good to be found and lots to be thankful for.  While maintaining guidelines for social distancing, perform acts of kindness by doing for others (i.e. making cards or baking cookies for neighbors and leaving them at their door, calling those that live alone, writing thank you notes to health care providers).

Additional Resources:

Social Stories  to help explain the coronavirus to young children,

Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, 

Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks, 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), 

Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Use at Home, at Play, and Out and About, 

Debi Cheek, Ed.S.
School Psychologist
Campbell County Schools