There are many interesting things for your child to do once they are truly tired of Zoom, worksheets, playing games online with friends—and playing board games with siblings or Mom and/or Dad. This alone can explain why your child is moping around. After all, they are also grieving over the effects of the Coronavirus. So, first, let’s go into how to help your child voice how they feel, especially if they are not the chatty type. Many times, it may only take a prompt from you to get your child to open up.
Simply telling them that it’s okay to feel sad or confused may open a stream of conversation. If that doesn’t seem to work, here are a few suggestions:
- Download a free PDF at (Letsembark) from Etsy for pages that help children write out their feelings. It is called the COVID-19 Time Capsule. There are many additional pages to download for children and adults.
- If your child is old enough, suggest that they write out their feelings in poetry. The Time Capsule mentioned above has a great poetry page that is part of their downloadable material.
- Ask your child to name one good thing and one bad thing that happened during their day. This usually allows the child to express their feelings.
Further, an article from the mobile app HuffPost considers resilience as the most powerful skill that your child can develop at this time. The urge for the parent to “save” them needs to be replaced by support.
“Let your child discover their own ways to cope. This is phenomenal emotional
growth and skill-building for the future.”
—John Mayer, Clinical Psychologist
This can be helped by the parent and by also using one of the worksheets listed in Letsembark. The key is to keep this message ongoing. In psychology, this is called “post-traumatic growth”.
Now for some fun stuff for both you and your child to do!
A great website to go to is called Little News Ears. (This is free during the Coronavirus crisis.) Not only is there stuff to do on the website, but you can download current news and other interesting content for your child via podcast and YouTube. This just may become one of your child’s favorite sites.
There is a neat place in Washington called Pasado Safe Haven. This is a sanctuary for abused animals such as donkeys, pigs, and geese. The non-profit has started a wonderful pen pal program for children. When you click on the link below, there are instructions for how your child can select an animal and send them a letter (sample is within the link). In return, the child will receive something cool in return:
There is also a virtual tour of the sanctuary that both children and adults may enjoy!
Your child also needs to exercise especially during this time. I found this great article on a 4-minute exercise that is fun, easy and is scientifically proven to help a child focus. You can find these exercises at the following link on PureWow. These are fun exercises you and your child can use to have fun while your child learns to focus! Going along with these exercises is the idea of letting your child unlock their inner naturalist. If possible, allow your child to go out into your backyard and check out the big and tiny things that are growing this time of year. Your child can even pinch off buttercups and other small flowers that can then be pressed between paper in a heavy book.
Some children also enjoy watching birds and even learning how to identify them.
Another fun thing for a child to do (if possible) is to use chalk on the driveway. Sure, your child can draw pictures, but consider having them do math problems with chalk!
The aim of these ideas is to keep your child creatively busy and keep you and your child sane.