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Play in Young Children

Covid-19 PARENTING TIPS : HELPING OUR CHILDREN TO MANAGE STRESS AND ANXIETY

COVID-19, better known as Coronavirus, has caused much stress and anxiety for our children.
In general, moderate amounts of stress serves as a form of motivation that will keep our children striving for excellence in whatever they embark on.

Some amount of anxiety is normal and can even be motivating. It helps them stay alert, focused and ready to do their best.

Depending on how our child reacts to them, stress and anxiety can be either positive that provides them with the energy or motivation to do better, or negative that will have the opposite effect.

Regardless of the cause, stress and anxiety can build up over time and end with our child displaying inappropriate and unwanted behavior that may be misinterpreted as bad attitudes, making it difficult for them to focus on learning or even manifest as health problems.

Below are some tips and tricks to cope with the social disruptions of this crisis.

Utilize Coping Skills

Calming Coping Skills (These skills are designed to help your child relax):

· Take deep breaths by inhaling air slowly through nose, counting from one to four, remembering to let the belly move outward before exhale slowly with     eight counts through the nose, fully expelling the air from the lungs. Repeat five times.

· Mindfulness exercises such as focusing on the task at hand, or on the natural world around them or on their own breathing

· Slowly counting to 10 and/or backward

· Imagine their favorite place

· Take a time-limited break ; make a list of healthy activities that they like to do

· Listen to nature sounds

· Positive self-talk statements

 

Physical Coping Skills (These skills are designed to help balance the energy, either to energize or to help release the excess energy in your child’s body):

· Jumping on a trampoline

· Doing simple exercises (pushups, sit-ups)

· Dancing/singing

· Going on a walk/jog (while maintaining social distancing)

 

Processing Coping Skills (These skills are designed to help your child work through thoughts and feelings they have about challenging situations):

· Write poetry

· Writing in a journal

· Encourage them to share their feeling by talking to you

· Create a playlist to listen to

 

Distraction Coping Skills (These skills are designed to distract and keep your child’s attention when they are focused on something that is making them upset):

· Baking or cooking

· Drawing/Coloring

· Playing a game

· Playing a musical instrument

· Writing a story

· Take photos of nature

· Read a joke book

· Doing something kind for someone else

· Using a stress ball or fidget

 

For added effectiveness, practice these skills with your child, because the example you set always has a bigger impact than the words you say.

Spend a few minutes together in quiet meditation, for example, or share time outdoors doing an activity you both enjoy, or talk about something they like: sports, music, celebrities or etc.

Check and see if they are okay. Remind them that you care and that they can talk to you anytime.

There is simply no way to eliminate stress and anxiety but as you offer your children effective tools for tending to their well-being, you will also benefit from simple ways to guard your minds and hearts.

Together you will be building coping skills that will last a lifetime for your children.

For more information, visit

· https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips


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