There’s no doubt about it, the ongoing lockdown due to COVID-19 is tough on everyone. Young children may be feeling confused about the situation, out of their usual routine and missing their friends or family members.
As a parent, it can be difficult to know what you should be doing to support your child’s mental health and wellbeing.
So, here are some of our tips for supporting your child’s mental health and wellbeing during this time.
Communicate with them
Your child may be feeling scared or confused, so it’s important to address any concerns or questions they may have. Be honest and communicate openly with your child in an age-appropriate manner.
To help them understand, you should try to answer their questions clearly and use simple words and expressions. If you need some assistance with this there are many resources available including the Children’s Commissioner’s Children’s Guide to Coronavirus.
While you may not be able to address every concern, you can be there to reassure and comfort them. It’s vital to offer them comfort and focus on helping them feel safe.
Be aware of how you are responding
It’s also important to be mindful of how you are responding to the situation. Young children are very receptive and look to their parents for emotional cues.
If your child witnesses you in an anxious and fearful state, this will make them view the situation in the same way. Research suggests that children of anxious parents are more likely to experience anxious thoughts themselves.
So, it’s important to do your best to set a positive example for your child to help them cope with the situation.
Keep up a daily routine
With so much uncertainty, it’s vital to focus on the things we can control. Establishing a consistent daily routine for your little one is a great way to give them an increased feeling of safety and comfort.
Plan ahead for the day or week and include time for learning or attending nursery, playing, and spending quality time together.
Ensuring your child has a consistent bedtime routine is a good way of helping them to get enough sleep which can hugely benefit their mental and physical health. This may be as simple as calming them down by reading a story before bed.
Get them moving
When spending so much time indoors, it can be hard to get your child to stay active and moving. However, it is particularly important for babies and toddlers who are developing their motor skills and for their overall mental health and wellbeing.
While the weather in the UK can be temperamental, it’s hugely beneficial to get your child outside for some exercise. Even if they want to stay in the stroller, getting some fresh air will really help.
If the weather doesn’t hold up, there are plenty of ways you can get them moving at home. This could be as simple as playing games such as hide and seek or encouraging them to follow a PE with Joe workout with you.
Spend time together doing activities
Another way to support your child is by doing indoor activities with them to help break up the day and spend some quality time together.
Whether it’s baking, arts and crafts or even building a fort, there are so many indoor activities to choose from to keep your child busy and engaged. Have a read of our recent blog on the best indoor activities for toddlers for some more ideas.
Little Angels 24/7
At Little Angels, we are here to provide support to you and your little one during this period.
We are a network of family-run, home away from home settings where children can spread their wings and develop into wonderful little individuals.
If you’re interested in finding out more or would like to book a virtual tour, please get in touch.