Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health During COVID-19

The outbreak of the pandemic has brought a lot of changes in every aspect of our lives.  Children are the most affected mentally since they feel these changes deeply. However, the easing of the lockdown restrictions has brought some form of excitement. But both children and young people are still feeling anxious or frightened. People across the world are living in uncertainties since COVID-19 seems to be here to stay with us.  The situation has resulted in complicated emotions among children with the ongoing back to school debate. If you are looking for ways on how to navigate your child through some of these complicated emotions to enhance mental stability, then you are at the right place.

How Can I Protect My Child from COVID-19 Infection?

girl wearing mask

The novel coronavirus is said to be a new strain of coronavirus.  The virus is marked by severe to acute respiratory syndrome and some other forms of the common cold. However, there is a lot of medical research being undertaken worldwide to learn about the virus and how to protect children from it. Meanwhile, people are being advised to wash hands, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. It is a technique that is helping to reduce the rate at which the virus is spreading. Keep in mind that kids under the age of two years are not allowed to wear a mask.  So, how can I protect my baby or toddler from COVID-19 infection?

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Avoid taking your child close to people who are sick.
  • Sanitize and clean surfaces or objects that people often touch at home.
  • Avoid large gatherings and keep a safe distance from others while outside.
  • Wear a mask at home when feeling sick and limit interaction with the child
  • Encourage family members to wash their hands often before carrying the child.

What Should Children Do During COVID-19 Quarantine?

Staying at home without doing something can be tedious.  Parents are required to engage their children in activities that can help enhance excellent mental health. However, it is also advisable to talk to the children about COVID-19, the importance of self-quarantining, and social distancing. We recommend parents to adopt activities that encourage adequate body movements. Children spending most of the time on the screen is not a good idea. These activities will help to improve creativity and physical body fitness. It also helps to eliminate complicated emotions that can result in mental health instability. Some of the most popular activities to consider for your kids during quarantine are yoga, dance parties, balloon volleyball, and hula hoop, hide and seek. Keep in mind that emotional differences among family members will arise. Therefore, keep the differences at the level they can manage and process.

What Are the Psychological Effects of COVID-19 on Children?

The outbreak of the pandemic has affected all of us regardless of our age. However, children have more deeply felt the impact than adults. However, the feeling of one child is quite different from the other.  Some children might have unpleasant feelings, while others might not be a concern. Some of the famous psychological impacts of the pandemic among children are anxiety, stress, irritability, restlessness, and even depression. Handling these feelings as a parent is quite challenging. But talking to your children about the current situation will play a huge role in their mental stability. Children are used to everyday routines like going to school and meeting their friends. However, the pandemic has brought a change in the routine structure.

We recommend devising physical activities at home to help alleviate mental stress among children. Try to limit the amount of time spent on screens or playing video games instead of focusing on physical activities.

Why Is Mental Health Important for Kids?

The overall health of a child is dependent on their mental health. Both physical and psychological health affect how kids feel and think.

According to the American Psychological Association, about 10-20% of children usually experience poor mental health due to their friends’ bodyweight teasing.

The issues make some kids withdraw socially, and this usually results in depression. The psychological torture ends up having long term implications that contribute to poor physical and mental health.

Parents are expected to treat mental health immediately as they develop. Our children deserve access to ultimate care and prevention of mental health problems.

However, if the situation is not handled correctly, the child might engage in some drug addictions. Some kids might commit suicide.

If you are unable to handle your child’s mental health problem, then it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional.

How to Have a Positive Mindset as a Parent?

Are you struggling to stay positive during this pandemic?

Well, check out the following expert tips to be a kickass positive parent:

Be Yourself

Try to authentic with your children. Let them know your likes, dislikes, frustrations, strength, and weaknesses. There is no such thing as being a perfect parent.

Trying to be perfect is quite dull and can hinder, creating a good bond with your children. Therefore, do not hide behind the illusion of being an ideal parent.

Always Make Yes a Default Setting

Keep in mind that saying yes or no all the time is not a good idea. Try to find the balance so that the children can feel their needs are valued and considered.

The best thing to consider is devising tricks of turning a few No(s) into Yes regardless of the kids’ demand being conditional.

Focus on Long Term Goals

Come up with long term goals that ensure your children have good physical and mental health.

Always focus on these goals regardless of the challenging moments in life. They will help to raise children that are happy, independent, confident, and loving.

Make Your Home a Positive Place

Create a memorable time with your family. The time will help deepen the relationship between a child and a parent.

The undivided attention will always make the family crave for each other.

Summary

A child’s mental health is quite crucial since it usually helps to determine their overall health.

Take time to check on your kid daily and get to know their feelings, especially during this time of COVID-19.

Keep in mind that children have different personalities, like adults. Some may express their feelings verbally, while others may look either anxious or aggressive.

Therefore, engage your kids in activities that help to develop positive mindsets during the lock down and quarantine.
These activities help to rejuvenate their mental health.

BIO:

Patrick Welch is a seasoned writer and chief executive at Healthy in Balance. When he’s not writing blogs or advocating for mental and physical health, you will find him cherishing time with his beautiful wife and three children. Through his website, Patrick hopes to educate others on how to live a life of balance, and to encourage them to reach their true potential- without losing sight of love and happiness along the way.

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