There are many things you can do to support your child while COVID-19 continues to be apart of our lives. Below find some general tips for supporting your child, as well as strategies for supporting children and youth with specific mental health challenges including anxiety, ADHD, and eating disorders.
Tips for supporting your child:
- One of the most important things you can do is stay calm and confident. Children and youth react, in part, to what they see from their parents and other adults around them. Learn more about taking care of yourself during COVID-19.
- Maintain a family day that has structure and elements of their ‘normal’ routine (plan activities, meals, quiet time, exercise, and sleep). For younger children, a visual schedule with pictures can be helpful. For older children, try co-creating this schedule. Youth can be encouraged to create their own schedule with parent input.
- Continue to make time for some fun together (e.g. board games, cooking and eating meals together, arts and crafts) even if your schedules are full with pre-pandemic activities.
- Give them some extra time and attention. This could include some special one-on-one time during the day, or extra cuddles at the end of the day.
- Share with them your own strategies for dealing with stress so that your children can learn from you.
- Monitor and restrict your child’s access to media about COVID-19 – just like for adults, constant information can feel overwhelming and add to stress. If you are worried about your child’s use of technology and would like to develop healthy tech habits, check out our podcast on Keeping Tech in Check.
- Stay connected in a way that feels best for you and your family. Everyone will have a different comfort and risk level. Check out some things to consider when spending time with others.
- Get support if your child has experienced trauma or your family is dealing with loss related to COVID-19.
Supporting children and youth with anxiety during COVID-19:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, children and youth continue to cope with change. Child and youth with anxiety disorders may find it especially challenging to adjust.
For more information on supporting children and youth with anxiety disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our blog post.
If your child is having anxiety-related challenges attending or staying in school, check out this webinar for parents and caregivers.
Supporting children and youth with ADHD during COVID-19:
Raising a child with ADHD is challenging. With the disrupted routines and uncertainty of COVID-19, these challenges may be intensified for some families..
For more information and tips on supporting children and youth with ADHD during COVID-19, check out our webinar.
Supporting children and youth with eating disorders during COVID-19:
For some children and youth experiencing disordered eating or eating disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their well-being.
For more resources and information about eating disorders, check out the Kelty Eating Disorders website.
Watch our ‘Eating Disorders in Youth: A Webinar for Parents & Caregivers' recording to better understand the spectrum of disordered eating, recognize the early signs and symptoms, learn practical strategies for creating a supportive home environment, and more.
Listen to our podcast episode on how parents can play an active role in eating disorder recovery.