by Rebecca Ginnetti, School Counselor
As school communities and families have moved into a new way of engaging in school and learning while managing social distancing, we know this current situation causes increased levels of stress, worry, or anxiety. Children and adults are managing a lot of information and a range of emotions in regards to changes in their routines, managing work and learning at home, cancellation of events, fear of infection, and restrictions on interactions with extended family and friends.
As you know, children look to the adults in their lives for guidance as to how to react to stressful situations or events. When children see adults worried and stressed, children’s anxiety levels may also rise. Parents should reassure children that health officials are working hard to provide information to help keep people safe.
Children do need factual, age appropriate information about the potential risk and specific instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.
Additionally, maintaining a realistic schedule with reasonable goals, that include set bed times, exercise and outdoor time, meal time, screen time, relaxation, and fun activities, can further reduce anxiety.
For additional support, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.