There has been a lot going on in the news recently, both here and abroad, that could worry most people but particularly children and young adults. Please review these tips for parents below created in collaboration with our Counsellors here at DC and colleagues from other ESF schools, that we have provided in English and Chinese so that you can feel confident helping your children navigate challenging situations. Feel free to contact the DC counselling team in English or Chinese at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helping children manage in unsettling times
Parents can help children manage during unsettling times by providing a safe context where feelings and thoughts can be discussed. It is important to remember that children are keen observers but poor interpreters, therefore adults need to be actively engaging with children and the interpretations they are forming. Parents have a key role in supporting their children to be able to acknowledge and express their feelings and thoughts in this period.
The following suggestions may be helpful:
- Reassure children that they are safe and valued by the adults around them.
- Let children know that it is alright and normal to be upset. All feelings are OK, but not all behaviours.
- Provide opportunities for children to share their feelings. Sharing worries or feelings of upset with other family members reduces a sense of vulnerability and isolation and raises optimism and self esteem.
- Maintain a normal routine and while spending time listening to what your children need to tell you.
- Model balance. Be aware of how much time you and your children spend on social media and news following any unsettling events. Encourage balance in daily routines.
- Communicate any concerns with school. If you have any concerns about your child please do get in touch with your child’s advisor or class teacher. You can also get in touch with the school counselling team who will be able to talk to you and advise you further.
- Look after yourself. A time of stress can mean less energy and more potential for illness for you, as well as others. So please take care of yourself.