I’m hearing of so many stories about kids doing it tough during lockdown at the moment and I feel so much for them, but I also feel for parents.
Even though I don’t have kids, lockdown last year in WA (and everything that went with it), sent my anxiety into overdrive and I fell in a big heap. So, I want to really acknowledge what parents, grandparents and caregivers are having to go through, all the while trying to keep their kids on an even keel too.
There’s one thing I know that helped me and I know it would be important for your kids to know as well, and that’s being comfortable enough to talk about how they’re feeling and what issues are coming up for them during this time.
They may be busy with online learning, chatting with friends on Messenger Kids, Snapchat or while playing Roblox or Minecraft, but are they really able to put a voice to or even feel comfortable enough to talk about big stuff that’s coming up for them?
And with no sports, scouts, ballet classes or playdates etc, they may be feeling even more isolated and unsure of what’s going on.
As an adult, even I found it hard to reach out for help, wanting to keep a sense of normalcy while a mess of stuff swarmed around my head. But talking really helped. In fact, it saved my sanity.
And it could save your child’s sanity too, (and in fact yours as well). When you know what’s going on inside your child’s head and heart, you feel less anxious, and you’re more empowered because you can then work out what to do. It’s the not knowing that can be the most stressful.
Helping them open up
I feel so passionately about this, I included a bunch of videos where I talk to kids about the importance of talking about their feelings and worries as part of my online video series, Inspiring Kids
I want all kids to be able to talk about what’s going on inside their heart and mind, so they can hopefully avoid any serious mental issues later now on. Also, I want talking about important stuff to become a skill and a habit they can carry through life.
It’s about building mental wellness in your kids now and putting this awful Covid time to good use to teach them lifelong skills. Skills that not only includes talking about thoughts and feelings, but also building resilience, emotional wellbeing, self-regulation, creative expression and empathy.
I’m also hearing the wait time to see child psychologists is painfully long and some of my psych friends are even recommending Inspiring Kids so kids can get positive mental health messages in the meantime.
If you’re worried about too much screen time already, with Inspiring Kids, it means they’ll be watching something that’s not only entertaining, but it’s good for their mental health.
Your kids will get through this and so will you (along with the rest us), but we can’t do it alone. And that’s they key aspect here, with all that’s going on, how can we create a safe space for kids to open up?