There are many fears and concerns surrounding coronavirus, so when it comes to maintaining your child’s mental health, licensed clinical social worker, Jennie Mazza Jones, has some solid advice.
"Validate the fear because it is scary, and there might not be something I can say to make the fear go away, but giving them a place to work through the fear is what’s important," she said.
Jones recommends taking the time to listen to all your children’s concerns even if you don’t have all the answers.
"I think one of the most important things that parents can do is create just space and time and a safe place where kids can express the feelings that they’re having, and validate those feelings because there aren’t always answers for what’s going on right now. Parents might not have those answers and that can add even more pressure to everything that they already have going on," she said.
It’s also important that your children not try and hold their feelings in.
"Just trying to carve out time even if it’s 5 minutes at bedtime, or having a family meeting where everybody can come together to talk about what’s going on and how they feel about it. It’s giving a time for connection, and it’s giving a space where people can start to get the feelings out. The more you keep them in, the harder it is to manage them," said Jones.
There’s a lot of pressure for parents to be a teacher, provider, and continue to maintain a good home life, but Jennie thinks you need to make time for your children to express themselves.
"Is there a way to manage maybe doing some work at a different time of the day so that you can connect with your child while they’re awake or something like that. It’s about finding a balance, and its trial and error sometimes," she said.
If you feel your child requires mental health services, there is help out there. These are a few numbers to mental health agencies that may be able to help: