COVID-19: Parents Supporting Children - Transcript

COVID-19: Parents Supporting Children

Children and teens react to stressful situations, in part, by how they see adults around them reacting. When parents and caregivers deal with COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared. Children may also feel upset or have other strong emotions if they, or someone they know, is in quarantine or has been released from quarantine.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:

Excessive crying or irritation in younger children

Returning to behaviors they have outgrown, for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting

Excessive worry, sadness, or difficulty concentrating

Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits

Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens

Avoiding activities enjoyed in the past

There are many things you can do to support your children:

Take time to answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way they can understand.

Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it’s ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so they can learn how to cope.

Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they don’t understand.

Try to keep up with regular routines. Create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun family activities.

Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family via video, email, phone, and text.

Learn more at cdc.gov/COVID-19 and coronavirus.gov

Page last reviewed: April 22, 2020