How Adults Can Help Children Deal With Stress From a Pandemic


Parents and other adults are critical in helping children of all ages deal with the stress from a pandemic.  Your task is to look at the list of suggestions.  I want you to choose one of the suggestions and answer these questions:

1. How would you accomplish this task? Be specific.

2. Of all the suggestions, which one do you think would be the most challenging?  Explain your answer. 

3. Once this Pandemic is behind us, what do you think children have missed the most in the last 12 months (year)?  

Expectations: 1 1/2-2 pages.  Double spaced.  Times New Roman Font. Size 12.  

How Adults Can Help Children Deal With Stress From a Pandemic

• Adults can help children understand how to stay well in a pandemic. Children look to parents or other adults for insight into how to respond to difficult circumstances or events. Staying calm and setting a supportive example for children is important. Let them know what adults will do and what the children can do to help (wash hands frequently, catch sneezes and coughs in tissues, etc.).

• Create a supportive environment for children during highly stressful events. Maintain a sense of security in your own home and environment. It reassures children that they can continue to feel safe. Continue or establish healthy family routines. Schedules may be interrupted if schools are closed or other restrictions about gathering in groups have been imposed. Calmly explain why this is necessary right now and what you will do as a family instead of the usual activity.

• Practice a “media diet” if you are with children. Some media outlets sensationalize the events of the day. Children do not have experience determining the difference between factual statements and exaggeration intended to maintain viewer attention. Consider checking the news only when the kids are in bed so your reaction doesn’t cause them more stress. Also, help them learn about using trusted, reliable sources of information.

• Parents and other adults should be a resource for helping children cope as needed. Express your concern for people living in areas where the pandemic is causing sickness. Reassure children about their protection and safety. Answer your children’s questions directly, but give them information that is appropriate to their age and maturity level. Acknowledge their feelings and concerns. They need to know they are being listened to and heard.

• Help children manage fears or uncertainty they might feel or express. Parents and other adults need to be attentive to children’s needs in helping them overcome fears or maintain a sense of trust and security.

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