Thinking of one tip that you can put in action today and my one hot tip would be to try and keep the ‘doom and gloom’ and in particular issues relating to all things COVID-19 talk limited and measured around young kids as you can. Yes, be there for them to talk to about it things that are worrying them, but don’t assume they are as stressed by it as we might be, in fact they may have other things completely unrelated that they are worried by!
If you do have children that tend to be more anxious and are tuned into world affairs, it is a good idea to really try and reduce the amount of media reports they listen to, so turn off the television when it’s news time (which is often around teatime), keep radio updates to a minimum and try to keep adult conversations about worries and concerns separate to your conversations that you have with them.
Answer their questions as honestly as you can, and stress that there is lots that we can manage in our own environment to help us feel good and stay safe.
Kids can have their own ways of coping and keeping perspective about what they should worry about and what they will leave to adults, so it is useful to be careful not to over-share about the things we are worried about.
Because if there is anything that I know to be true, it is that anxiety is more catching than most things at present. We have seen this with panic buying and other behaviour, so when we, our kids rock and safe place, become visibly anxious, this is likely to spread to our children.
So whilst it is great to express our emotions to our children, we have to remember that we are the adults, we have the ability to look at the bigger picture and to model healthy ways of coping. If you feel that you are really not coping, you need to talk about your fears and worries, reach other to other trusted adults around you or seek out a mental health professional, (by Telehealth if need be).