Coronavirus: How to support your child 

 We understand that for the next couple of months the nation is under a tremendous amount of stress to manage the Covid 19 situation. The Laurel Foundation wanted to offer some helpful resources on how to help you and your children through this difficult time. We will also be posting daily on all our social media platforms ideas on things to do with your children while they are at home and informational websites on national Covid 19 updates. Please feel free to reach out to us at the office is you need additional support. We have volunteer Social Workers and medical professionals that are able to answer any questions you might have.

How to Talk to Your Child About the coronavirus

•        Allow and acknowledge your child’s feelings (and your own)

•        Listen to your child and watch for cues that they may need help processing the nations health situation and provide    

         developmentally appropriate explanations

•        Remind them on what you are doing to keep them safe (e.g. school is closed, we’re not going to gather in groups, we’re 

         going to practice impeccable hygiene)

•        Remember, it is okay to say that you “do not know” when asked certain questions

•        Open communication is key, keep the conversation going

For more information on how to talk to your child about the coronavirus, please see the following resources:

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus – Child Mind Institute

Exploring the Coronavirus — NPR Comic

Talking with Children about Coronavirus – CDC 

Other strategies to support you and your child during school closure

1.     During this time, it is normal to experience a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and reactions. You or your child may experience the following:

•        Stress and worry

•        Fear and anxiety

•        Frustration and irritability

•        Helplessness

•        Difficulty sleeping and/or concentrating

•        Isolating or withdrawing from others

•        Physical symptoms (e.g. increased heart rate, sweating, low energy, stomachaches, headaches, etc.)

It can be helpful to talk with others, journal, engage in creative activities (e.g. art, music, etc.), and/or speak to a professional. Should you need help, please call the office and we do have volunteer professionals that can assist you.

2.     Practice relaxation strategies:

•        Headspace

•        Calm

•        UCLA Mindfulness Exercises

•        Progressive Muscle Relaxation

•        Deep breathing

3.     structure and routine are important to maintain, as they increase feelings of control and/or alleviate feelings of anxiety and/or stress.

•        Try to keep your family’s schedule consistent (i.e. bedtimes, morning routines (including getting dressed for the day), 

         meals, and exercise.

4.     stay connected to each other, friends, peers, family, and colleagues. Receiving support from loved ones can have a powerful impact on your stress and sense of stability and comfort.

•        Make time for regular, personal check-ins with friends and family via text, email FaceTime, etc.

5.     limit media consumption. While it is important to stay informed, it is essential to set healthy limits if you find yourself constantly reading, watching, or listening to media coverage. If you can, try to take breaks to focus on positive things in your life, especially ones that you have control over, or unplug. If you need news updates, check out a government resource for the best, most accurate information.

6.     For additional information, here are some helpful resources:

Homeschooling Teens and Tweens During Coronavirus School Closures

How Working Parents Can Prepare for Coronavirus Closures

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with Coronavirus

Keep Your Kids Entertained at home through March Break and Beyond

Local Food Pantry – Los Angeles

Free Student Meal Services – San Diego

CDC – Coronavirus Updates

Helping with Anxiety – Workbook

Margot AndersonCoronavirus: How to Support Your Child