Undivided Attention and Support Are Everything Kids Need Right Now


Here we are. Another school year starting with masks and social distancing. Our kids are by far the ones suffering the most. You gotta think, if COVID is too much for us as parents to wrap our head around, our children don't stand a chance of getting 'it'. Now, more than ever, we have to give them support, listen to them, and create as much normalcy as possible. 

Even teenagers still need their parents and guardians to guide them and be with them. When it comes to providing emotional stability to our children, there is no endpoint. Those traditions, family meals, one-on-one time, and stability are what soothes their soul and fears. 

One trick I use to embrace time together with my son is think of the times we created fun memories together. What we were doing? What warms his heart? Holiday traditions? Sporting events? Concocting yummy treats in the kitchen... 

Then I use those happy memories to inspire me to new happy memories! 

I try to build small moments into each day/week. I'll Google jokes, fun snacks, five-minute crafts... 

Here are a few other tips I've come across to help our children through this difficult time:

Responding to Changes Outside Your Control

Unforeseen challenges, like divorce, deaths, and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic can be difficult for all family members, including parents but you must stay stoic in the face of adversity. Thankfully, children are incredibly resilient, but they still need copious amounts of reassurance things are going to be OK. Even if you're not 100% sure when or how things will be better, be the guiding light that lets your children know there's no need to worry. 

Communication is Key

It is crucial you regularly talk to your children. Really listen to them. Ask them what they are feeling and thinking. DO NOT JUDGE OR BRUSH OFF THEIR CONCERNS. Communication is everything right now. Start by doing an activity together then ask simple questions about school, their day, their friends and foes and let the conversation be guided by your child. The more you let them talk, the more you will learn about how they are truly feeling.

Assure the children that it's okay to feel the way they do. For older kids, focus on facts and historical data to help them find their footing on shaky ground.

Prioritize well-being

To help the family remain mentally stable and healthy, BOTH parents and children should prioritize exercise, eating healthy, and solid sleep. As a family, join an online dance class, learn a Tik Tok dance, create a family band using pots and pans. Cook healthy meals together. Have a family game night. Use this time to bond and strengthen your family unit.

As the saying goes... This too shall pass. Until then, support and listen to your children. Be there for them, judgment-free. 

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com