How To Support Children During The Pandemic?

The Center for Research on Abuse and Early Adversity produced a guide for parents to protect and promote the emotional well-being of children in the current health crisis. We invite you to know their advice.

Specialists agree that quarantines are generally complex situations for the mental health of the population. Social isolation undermines ties and interpersonal relationships, which are the basis of people’s psychological well-being . In this scenario, children constitute a particularly vulnerable group that requires care and protection.

The Seven Tips Provided By The Document Are:

  1. Convey calm and hope. Explain to the children that many people are working to cope with this situation and that when you work together, you can solve problems and overcome difficulties.
  2. Protect them from catastrophic messages. Do not expose children to alarming content from the media and social networks. Take care of the tone of the conversations that take place at home on the subject. Without denying reality, you should try to convey a reassuring and not alarmist vision.
  3. Clarify that it is a transitory situation. Meanwhile, it is important to maintain some basic routines at home, alternating leisure and play times.
  4. Try to understand your emotions. Children must be observed and listened to, and helped to identify their feelings; Explain that people can feel different emotions when faced with the crisis and that all are valid. It must be accompanied without criticizing or judging and generating full instances of attention for children.
  5. Encourage the expression of your ideas. Listening carefully to the children when they elaborate a story of what is happening will allow us to understand how they are living this situation. These instances of dialogue should be encouraged.
  6. Help them make sense of the quarantine situation. Relieve the actions that children do to take care of themselves and others. Highlight examples of organization and solidarity in the population.
  7. Take care of ourselves as adults, not demanding so much of ourselves. Do not pretend to make everything perfect, because it is an extraordinary situation that requires not only effort, but also flexibility and understanding. You must be compassionate with yourself and with others.

Finally, the guide also recommends being attentive to certain symptoms in children that require clinical attention, such as excessive worry, which prevents activities such as playing, studying or interacting with others; disturbances in eating and sleeping routines; and excessive crying or intense emotions for long periods, disrupting daily life.