Adults and children are all feeling immense emotions right now, as the whole world battles the COVID-19 virus. There are feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness and fear. Here are some tips to help your child develop self-care skills to recognize and manage their emotions:
- Get curious with your child about what they are feeling. You can ask them what is happening inside their body and if they can name the emotion they are feeling.
- Support them by describing what you see and guessing what the emotion might be that they are feeling. “I see that your face is red and your hands are in fists. When I do those actions, I’m often feeling angry. Do you think that’s how you are feeling?”
- Help your child understand that emotions aren’t right or wrong, they just are.
- Letting them know that no matter how big or painful an emotion is, it is a safe and acceptable to experience
- Help your child discover which activities or experiences help them calm down or feel better.
- Help your child collect some of their favorite soothing objects to create an easy-to-grab “coping kit! (or “self soothe kit!”)”.
- Sit down with your child in a calm moment and collaboratively make a list of some of their favourite self soothe activities, that they can use in a difficult moment.
- Helping your child understand and use positive self-talk.
- Help your child notice when she puts herself down and how that makes her feel.
- Come up with positive phrases to use in challenging situations. Instead of “I can’t do this.” rephrase to “I can’t do this YET, but if I keep trying, I’ll get better.”
- Practice helpful self-talk during calm times, so that it will make it easier for your child to use when feeling stressed.