So, how are everyone’s kids doing?
How are you doing with your kids at your side all day?
Are you scrambling with how to talk to your kids about and during a crisis?
I’m not a medical professional, just a mom who has walked her children through (several) crises. And I thought I’d share a bit of how I do this, things I’ve learn't over time. I feel these actions have worked well, though I guess none of us will really know until they are grown adults reflecting back on their childhood.
Tell the truth, 100% of the time.
This might be adapated based on age and understanding of the child, but this is not the time to make things up to make a child feel better. (Not that this is ever ok, but now especially!) will only hurt them, and your relationship with them, in the long run.
Don’t make promises you cant keep.
During difficult events, it is not the time to give promises of a vacation this summer or saying it will all be over in X number of day or promises that your family won’t get sick. You don’t know. So don’t promise it.
Do make promises you can keep.
Whether it’s a favourite activity to do together during the day or FaceTime with a friend or a promise that “we can do this together”, kids want assurance and things to look forward to. Make the promise you are capable of, and then be damn sure you follow through!
No I don’t mean all the Pinterest schedules people are making for productive school days. I mean regular routines, make sure they are still integrated in your now irregular days. Whether it is a nightly bedtime routine that never changes or sticking to the same house rules you always set, this gives kids stability.
Create oppurtunity for questions.
Prompted by a book or video, or simply quiet time with conversation flowing, let kids have room to simply ask. They absorb more than we realize and this gives them space to show us what they need and already understand.
Prepare for possibilities.
Age and child appropriate, give your child tools and understanding of what will happen in various scenarios. They then have less to wonder and worry about, and just know mom and dad have this.
With all this, the final thing I would add, is to help them continue to simply be kids.