When crisis strikes, adults are not the only people who struggle.
Grown-ups often have many worries to think about, from protecting our households to making sure that we can continue to earn an income when visiting an office is not an option.
The Covid-19 pandemic showed us just how complicated life could become – almost overnight.
However, it is worth noting that your children struggle with the sudden change to their schedules too. Many youngsters suddenly found themselves learning from home when the pandemic struck, unable to connect with their friends, and isolated from the world.
As parents and guardians, it is up to us to ensure that kids stay safe and emotionally sound during this difficult time. Here are some tips to help with that.
1. Outline Responsibilities
First, you need to be clear with your children about what they should expect in the new situation. If you must teach your child from home instead of them going to school each day, let them know what that’s going to look like.
At the same time, remind them that they are still expected to help around the house and do their part.
Make it clear what every family member is going to do to protect each other and navigate the crisis. Assigning jobs to everyone in your household will help your kids to feel like they are part of a crucial team.
Do not forget to highlight what your kids might need to do when you are working from home, too (such as staying quiet during meetings).
2. Discuss Their Worries
Good communication is crucial to surviving any crisis. Although you might not be able to answer all the questions that your kids have, you can at least let them know that you hear their concerns.
For instance, if your child is concerned about you not having a job right now, let them know that you’re still going to be getting money to ensure they can eat and have a roof over their head.
If your kids are nervous about the pandemic and what might happen to them if they get sick, try to answer their questions carefully. Stay positive and let them know how they can take steps to protect themselves and the rest of the family, like staying at home.
Be prepared for periods of stress and panic when your child cannot quite handle what is going on around them – they’re in a brand-new situation after all.
3. Limit Exposure to News
Although it is important to listen to your child and answer their questions as much as possible, it is also a good idea to avoid how much they are exposed to outside sources of information.
While it is rarely a good idea for anyone to bury their heads in the sand, your child watching the news all day while you are working from the home office can lead to more stress and worry.
Even us adults can get overwhelmed if we see nothing but negative statistics on the television. With that in mind, set limits on how much information your youngster deals with on a regular basis.
Let them know that if they are concerned, there are times in the day when they can come to you – even if you can’t be available all day when working from home.
It is also worth being cautious about the amount of social media time your kids get, as these platforms can often be sources of false news.
4. Create a Schedule for Everyone
Now that you are working outside of the office, you will need a schedule to ensure that you stay productive. There are many distractions in the household, and it is easy to lose track of time when you let those productivity drainers pull you away.
You and your children both need to learn how to schedule your days properly and manage your time efficiently.
For instance, kids need to know how long to spend on each lesson every day, and how much time they need to dedicate to things like studying and chores. Other family members may need to help around the house at certain times too.
Make sure that everyone feels comfortable with the new schedule and is committed to keeping it running smoothly.
5. Learn How to Handle Stress Together
Finally, we all struggle with feelings of anxiety and stress from time to time. The key is learning how to manage these negative emotions in a way that is safe and productive.
Help your kids to discover some new techniques for handling stress while you manage your anxiety too.
For instance, you could try doing some meditation sessions together, or practice mindful breathing, so you can slow your heart rate when you feel overwhelmed. Remind your child that even when they feel isolated or locked away from the world, you are in this together.
Something as simple as letting your kids know that you are there for them and understand their feelings could be enough to reduce feelings of panic.
Surviving in a Crisis
Adults and children alike both struggle when presented with a crisis. The good news is that you can learn how to overcome the stress and panic together.
The tips above will help you handle difficult moments with your children so that you can come out of this situation stronger than ever. Do not let your panic get the best of you and give your child the support they need.
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business, and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.