Helping Your Child Cope
Table of Contents
- How to Help your Child Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Fear
- One-On-One Time
- Keep it Positive
- Keep it Structured
- Dealing with Bad Behaviour
- Keep Calm and Manage Stress
- How to Explain the COVID-19 Pandemic to your Children
- Additional Information & References
Keywords: Coping strategies, Stress, Anxiety, Fear, Depression
1. How to help your child cope with stress, anxiety, and fear 1-4
Maintain your diabetes routine including blood glucose checks and insulin administration.
- Remember to stay hydrated, eat healthy and keep active.
- Consult your diabetes team for help or advice in management
Limit the exposure to media coverage of COVID-19
- Children can often misunderstand and become frightened by what they hear on the news
Find positive ways to help your child express their feelings
- Engage in creative activities like drawing, skits and playing
Maintain a routine
- Keep up with normal schedules or make a new schedule for your child to follow each day.
- Engage children in play and learning activities. With school closures consider home learning opportunities. Some schools may have a system in place for teachers to continue to teach online
- Come up with fun activities to relieve stress such as reading, drawing, acting, watching movies, exercising, meditating etc.
- Physical activity can be a great way to relieve stress. Additionally there are many benefits for individuals with diabetes for staying active.
- Encourage children to socialize within the family.
- Consider video or phone calling to stay connected with other family members and friends
- Some schools may have a system in place to connect children with their classmates
Be a role model
- Take breaks, spend time connecting with friends and family, exercise, eat well and stay hydrated
2. One-on-One time1-2
Use this unexpected home time to connect with your children and teens. One-on-one time is a great way to build stronger relationships and ensure your child feels loved and secure. Set aside time each day to spend with your children. Be flexible!Ask your child what they would like to do. It is up to parents to make sure that children get all the attention, support and love they deserve during this trying time.
3. Keep it Positive1-2
While this is a stressful time for everyone, keep your parenting positive! Be a role model for your children and teens. Use positive words when asking them to do something and praise your child when they behave well. Be realistic in your request; can your child achieve what you are asking them to do? Help your children and teens stay connected with their friends and family members.
4. Keep it Structured1-2
COVID-19 has caused a lot of changes. Keeping a daily routine will help your child to adjust to their new reality. Be flexible but consistent with your routine. Find what works for your family and stick to it. Teach children about physical distancing, proper hygiene and handwashing by being a model for your child’s behaviour.
5. Dealing with Bad Behaviour1-2
Being stuck indoors all day can make anybody a little crazy! It is normal for children to misbehave. Redirect your child’s attention from bad behaviour to good behaviour. Pause, take a couple deep breaths and try to respond to your children in a calm manner. Using consequences instead of shouting or hitting can help children take responsibility for their actions. One-on-one time, positive parenting and a structured environment all help in reducing bad behaviour.
6. Keep Calm and Manage stress1-2
This is a difficult and stressful situation. Take steps to ensure your mental wellbeing, and to support your children.
Consult our Mental Wellbeing Page.
7. How to explain the COVID-19 pandemic to your children1-4
Have an open and honest conversation with your child. Parents, caretakers, family members, etc. can play an important role in minimizing anxiety and stress by helping children to understand what is happening. You know your child best! Explain the COVID pandemic in a way that makes sense to them.
8. Additional Information and References
- Consult resources to help discuss COVID-19 with your children
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About COVID-19: A Parent Resource
- World Health Organization. Healthy Parenting. World Health Organization; 2020. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/healthy-parenting
- Unicef. Tips for parenting during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Caring for Children [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children.html
- World Health Organization. Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak. World Health Organization; 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf
Disclaimer: The information regarding COVID-19 is changing constantly as more data become available. The information provided in this website is not meant to replace diabetes healthcare team or public health agencies recommendations, and is intended for information purposes only. Please check with your healthcare providers for any deviations from your care plans.