4 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children During Crisis
Worried about how the crisis might impact your child?
==> You’re not alone… Click here to watch parenting expert Sania Dookie share 4 ways you can support your kids during this difficult time. <==
Worried How The Crisis Could Impact Your Child?
Are you worried about your child’s emotional health from the Coronavirus?
You’re not alone. “We’re all in the same boat,” says parenting expert Sania Dookie.
Truth is, children are impacted by crises too. But helping your children learn how to cope with all the changes and uncertainty doesn’t need to overwhelm you
To help us discover some simple and helpful ways we can support our kids, we reached out to Child Psychotherapist and Parenting Coach Sania Dookie. She empowers parents so you recognize that you have all the skills you need within you to raise your children.
And in her interview, she gave four main ways that parents can help their kids during this crisis.
#1 – Make Your Child’s Day As Calm As Possible
“Children are more resilient than we think.” Most of the time, she says, it’s the parents who are worrying more than the kids.
When speaking with the kids that she’s been working with about the lockdown, Sania finds that they’re usually honest about their feelings but also understanding about the situation.
“I’m talking about younger kids too. Seven-year-olds and younger and not just older kids,” says Sania.
So, when the parents are trying to make their children’s days as calm as possible, that really helps.
#2 – Create Pleasant Experiences
The second tip that Sania gives is to mix the difficult experiences that could cause trauma with fun or memorable activities. This makes it “easier for the person to rebound and survive the situation” because we’re counteracting the stress hormones with positive hormones.
Just three years ago, there was a fire in Sania’s town and the entire community of 90,000 people needed to evacuate. But the city welcomed them and the kids spent their days at theme parks and the zoo.
“Three years later, when I talk to these same children and ask them, ‘how did you cope with the fire then?’… they started to talk about what they did… the fun activities.”
Now, Sania isn’t saying that these fun memories completely prevented anxiety or post-trauma. But she is saying that it enabled the children to reintegrate more easily into new schools, a new home and make new friends.
Some ideas for creating pleasant experiences could be as simple as:
- Playing games
- Spending family time together
- Watching movies
- Cooking together
The other silver lining during this crisis is that many children are enjoying spending quality time with their parents.
#3 – Encourage Your Kids To Connect With Loved Ones Online
Another simple way to help your children, advises Sania, is to encourage them to connect with close family members and friends online. Kids enjoy this interaction because it helps them to feel connected to people they love despite the distance.
This has helped me to stay connected with my grandkids.
I’ve been using an app to read stories to them. And I’ve been organizing weekly family get-togethers where we play games. The latest game, animal bingo, was a real hit with the kids (and adults!).
#4 – Create A Simple Plan For The Day
The final advice Sania has for parents to support their children is to create a simple routine so they know what to expect for the day. This will give kids some structure and help them to regulate themselves better during a time when there is high uncertainty.
Here are some tips Sania suggests when creating a plan:
- Keep it simple and don’t make it too rigid
- Create the plan with your child as this will help them to feel a level of control during a time when many things are out of their control
- Focus on what you and your kid(s) can control
- Create a simple routine for the morning, lunchtime, evening and bedtime
- Have specific things that your kids can expect while allowing flexibility for other things
When parents create a level of normalcy for their kids (they wake up at a certain time, have their breakfast, have their quiet time, for example), their body is already in the knowing.
And this simple schedule helps to keep the amygdala calm and reduces the chance of their bodies releasing cortisol.
This is really important because to keep our brain healthy, we need to give our brain a chance to calm down and release positive hormones, like serotonin.
Having a simple plan can also benefit parents, Sanie says because our bodies are wired in such a way that we need regulation. And it benefits us both mentally and physically.
Need Extra Help To Support Your Children?
If you’d like extra support during this season with your children, you can find Sania at:
- Website: Sania Dookie
- Private practice: Dookies’ Psychological Services
- Facebook: The Empowered Parent
And coming soon in May 2020, Sania will be releasing a new course called 10 Steps to Transform Your Parenting. The first 10 people who purchase the course when it’s released will have a free 1:1 consult with her for 10 weeks.
To find out when the course will be released, follow The Empowered Parent Facebook page or message her with your email to be the first to receive a notification when this course is released.
Child Psychotherapist & Parenting Coach
What is helping your children to cope with this crisis? Share your insights in the comments below. We love to learn from you!
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