CRAWFORD COUNTY — Change isn’t easy for adults. For young children it can become quite problematic
Children across the nation are experience something brand new. They are living through the time of the coronavirus pandemic. And they are stuck at home because schools were ordered close to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the nation.
That big change in their lives can result in anxeity for kids.
Kristen Garn, a child and adolescent therapist at Community Counseling in Bucyrus, said parents need to take heed of how their children are feeling and try to reassure them as well as they can.
“Some of the important things to remember — as the parents or the caregivers of the children — are the facts,” Garn said. “Letting them know about the facts and making sure it’s the correct information they are given. Keep the radios, TVs, and social media limited because that can increase anxiety, fear and worry, especially in children.”
But parents can do more.
“Find age-appropriate ways to let the children express their feelings … in positive ways, like playing, coloring, drawing. It just just dependson their ages.”
These are big changes in a young life, but caregivers should try not to change things up too much.
“Trying to keep things as normal as possible is very difficult,” Garn said. “I understand that. But socializing at home with other kids or parents or whoever they live with is very important, as well.
“Make the time to spend time with children to ensure that socializing continues. You can play with them, but just spend quality time with them. If you can’t be with your children, because you have to go to work still, check in with them during the day. Make that effort to call and check in. That way they know you’re safe and that you’re going to be back. Those are important things, too.”
Garn said it also is important for parents and caregivers and other adults to take care of themselves. Kids can impacted by how parents and caregivers are, including their health and how they handle stress.
“Make sure you’re practicing proper hygiene, getting rest and your own feelings are being expressed in positive ways, because your children are listening and watching that, as well,” Garn noted.
Many websites have information available for families and children when it comes to dealing with COVID-19.
Here are some suggestions:
For information on how to talk to children about COVID-19 and other issues, visit this CDC website
The Ohio Department of Health website also had information and ideas to assist children and parents during this crisis.
For learn more about Community Counseling Services, visit their website at http://myccsi.squarespace.com/
“But things like coloring with them, reading with them, painting, with them can help,” she said. “Being resourceful around the house and finding things to do, play games, just keeping them busy beyond school work. That will give them positive ways to express themselves.”