With the pandemic continuing and routines still not back to what children are used to, are you noticing that your children are struggling and seem restless? The restrictions seem to have only gotten harder as they have continued and now that it is colder out, this restricts the activities that are available. In the summer, it was easier to play outside and keep the kids active. Now that it is winter and the restrictions seem like they have been going on forever and may never end, this only gets harder for everyone, including kids.
Routines are important for everyone, including children, and while you have hopefully created a new one by now, it is not what they are used to. Depending on their age, they may be used to going to school and if they are going, it is not the same. Even the school routines have changed. Many children are not able to see their friends and activities have changed. At this time, activities are most likely on a screen and for many, if in person, wearing a mask and socially distanced. This is not what children are used to and many of them are missing their normal peer interactions. While some feel more hopeful with the vaccine, these restrictions will probably not be gone right away either.
This can lead to children being restless and having a harder time participating in school, other activities, or even within your family. How can you help then? While it will depend on your child’s age and how much they understand what is happening, there are some ways to help them all.
· Quality time: Make sure to spend quality time with them. This does not need to be whole days, but making sure to have quality time with them when you can focus solely on them. Ask them what they want to do. What are some of their favorite activities? What do they want from you right now?
· Talk to them: Ask them how they are feeling and what they understand about why things are different right now. Address their fears or questions in a way that makes sense to them and is true.
· Active and calming times: Make sure to offer both energetic activities and calming activities throughout the day. Try to determine the right balance for your child and try to implement it. This may not work every time, but children also start to learn what they need as well. Make sure to offer both energetic and calming activities.
· Routine: Routines help everyone and children can feel comfort from routines. With a routine, children know what to expect and this can reduce anxiety or stress. It can be hard for children to deal with the unknown so having a routine helps to reduce the unknown.
While you can’t change the world your child is living in right now, you can provide extra support and comfort which will help your child with some of the anxiety and restlessness they may be feeling.If you have additional questions or want some additional ideas, reach out to me