Social and Emotional Wellness During the Extended School Closure

The LCSD Guildance Department shares this advice on how to talk to children and young adults about COVID-19:

Be calm and reassuring

  • Children will react to and follow your verbal and nonverbal reactions.
  • If true, emphasize to your children that they and your family are fine. Remind them that you and the adults in at school are there to keep them safe and healthy.
  • Let them talk about their feelings. Help them reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.

Make yourself available

  • Children may need extra attention and may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.
  • It is important that they know they have someone who will listen to them and make time for them.
  • Tell them you love them and give them plenty of affection.

Avoid excessive news

  • Be aware of comments other adults make around your family.
  • Avoid news broadcasts that might be upsetting when your children are present. Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety.
  • Speak to your child about how many Internet stories about COVID-19 may be based on rumors.
  • Information designed for adults can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children.

Maintain a routine

  • Keep to a regular schedule, as this can be reassuring and promotes physical health.
  • Encourage children to keep up with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Be honest, accurate and healthy

  • Giving children guidance on what they can do to prevent infection gives them a greater sense of
    control over disease spread and will help to reduce their anxiety.
  • When tensions are high, sometimes we try to blame someone. Avoid stereotyping any one group of people as responsible for the virus.
  • Children often imagine situations far worse than reality. Don’t ignore their concerns.
  • Encourage good hygiene, such as proper hand washing.
  • Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.

Helpful Resources

Elementary

Middle School

High School

Coping in Hard Times Fact Sheet for High School and College Age

For Parents and Educators