7 Ways to Promote Emotional Wellness in Kids During COVID
Now is a good time to take a metaphorical temperature check on your children. How is everyone doing?
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Meditating or coloring are some great ways to be present with one another and enjoy each other’s company without having to say or do much, says Hammond. And they’re ideal for supporting mental health and wellness.
As New York continues to reopen, your children might have questions or be wondering how life is going to change once again. They might even express some fear of re-entering public spaces and social environments or be scared of people wearing masks. To get ahead of any worries, parents can provide information and be specific regarding what you will do outside of the house and how you will be smart to stay healthy. Hammond recommends keeping it short and direct: “When we leave the house, we will wear our mask and carry our hand sanitizer.”
Whether you’re remaining close to home or starting to slowly and safely venture out, the importance of playing with your kids remains paramount. And outdoor play is especially important when it comes to emotional development, self-esteem, and physical wellness. As outlined by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and its Voice of Play initiative, the benefits of play are far reaching, especially during times of increased stress or upheaval.
Wondering if your child might be struggling too much? Feeling sad, afraid, worried, or unsure right now is completely normal, for kids and adults. But if your child is having trouble sleeping, eating, experiences dramatic mood changes, or suggesting they want to hurt themselves or others, you should probably seek a mental health professional's guidance, Hammond says. You can find a mental health professional in your area here. And thankfully most are offering telehealth services right now.
“Children must grow up with the ability to be cautious without becoming completely risk-aversive and obsessive,” Thiessen adds. “There are reasonable practices we can follow that will, however, reduce the likelihood that Grandpa or Grandma will get it, and children need to know how to participate in practices that will afford protection for the most vulnerable among us.”