Supporting your child to maintain resilience during COVID-19

By Erin Rooke, Northcott Social Worker, 14 April 2020 , Comments

Despite the extraordinary times we are living in, it’s expected that children will not remember the fear, empty shelves or days off school and work that happened during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

What they will remember is time with mum and dad, the family dinners, board game nights, family concerts in the lounge room and being together.

With this in mind, if you are a parent, it’s worth remembering you have incredible power to shape this experience for your children. There are simple things you can do to support your children through COVID-19, even if you’re feeling uncertain within yourself.

  1. The way you talk to your children is key. Provide simple, clear, developmental and age-appropriate information about coronavirus, how you’re keeping them safe and what is going to happen next.
  1. Turn off the news! It’s important to keep informed but having rolling coverage with confronting images can be more overwhelming than helpful.
  1. Maintain a routine and schedule. This is important for children of all ages and developmental stage. Keep your routine simple to make it easier for everyone. Don’t forget to include downtime, non-screen time and all important family time.
  1. Set yourself and your children realistic expectations. Now is not the time for high expectations. Be aware there will be tantrums, regressions and challenges. As adults, we’re feeling frustrated and so are children. Adjust your expectations without accepting unacceptable behaviour. Now may not be the ideal time to start new things like toilet training, behaviour management and modification, or sleep programs.
  1. Be creative with communication. If your child has communication difficulties, think creatively. Use Google images to find pictures to explain what’s happening. Make a social story using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System®) or try Baby Shark’s hand washing  and The Wiggles Social Distancing songs.

Related content

Northcott’s ECEI team has put together some resources to help parents keep children entertained and informed while staying home.

Thinking of creating a social story? This article explains what it’s all about and provides tips on how to go about creating a social story for your child.

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