As we move from the holidays back into the routine of life next week we will still be dealing with the consequences and limitations of COVID-19. As I posted several weeks ago we have only started the journey to recovery from this difficult year. So what do parents say and do as they relate to their children about this on-going set of circumstances?
In a recent article in the Hechinger Report, Jackie Mader writes an article that encourages parents in what they say to their kids about the on-going pandemic. Here is a quote from this article:
My own 4-year-old has recently ramped up his questioning about when the pandemic will end, especially as we get closer to the events he looks forward to all year: the holiday season and his birthday.
Experts say questions like these from kids are going to continue to challenge parents as the pandemic lingers and kids, like adults, experience ‘pandemic fatigue.’
“This is such a hard time for families and, particularly, families with young children,” said Susan Linn, a lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and national advisory board member with the nonprofit Defending the Early Years. “Families are really struggling.” I asked Linn and another expert, Dr. Tia Kim, the vice president of education, research and impact at the Seattle-based Committee for Children, for advice on helping young kids understand and manage their feelings as they face frustration, changes in routines and uncertainty—with no apparent end in sight.
Five tips are listed in this article with explanations and rationales for what parents should be saying and not saying to their kids as they answer questions and cope with the difficult circumstances that are still before us. We are now in that place of “biding our time” until we see the impact of the vaccines at a broader societal level.
There is great hope on the horizon. Yet, we still need to help our children work through the issues that they are having questions and anxiety over. I think our children will always remember this crisis and we want to be supportive caregivers, parents and family members until we cross the finish line of the COVID-19 impact.