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Get the latest updates and COVID-19 information here.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has this helpful advice for parents experiencing stress over COVID-19:
  • Engage your children in constructive activities. Bored or frustrated children are more likely to act out. Many children have had their lives disrupted. They are out of school and can’t play with their friends.
  • Help them with their fears. Children who are old enough to follow the news may be afraid, for example, that they or their parents are going to die. You can acknowledge the fear, and discuss all the things you are doing to stay healthy, such as washing hands and staying home to avoid germs.
  • Call a time-out. This discipling tool works best by warning children they will get a time-out if they don’t stop, reminding them what they did wrong in as few words- and with as little emotion- as possible, and removing them from the situation for a pre-set length of time (1minute per year of age is a good guide).
  • Know when not to respond. As long as your child isn’t doing something dangerous and gets plenty of attention for good behavior, ignoring bad behavior can be an effective way of stopping it. Ignoring bad behavior also can teach children natural consequences of their actions. For example, if your child keeps dropping his food on purpose, he soon will have no more crackers left to eat.
  • Catch them being good. Children need to know when they do something bad-AND when they do something good. Notice good behavior and point it out, praising success and good tries. This is particularly important in these difficult times, when children are separated from their friends and usual routines.
  • Give them your attention. The most powerful tool for effective discipline is attention- to reinforce good behaviors and discourage others. Remember, all children want their parent’s attention. When parents are trying to work at home, this can be particularly challenging. Clear communication and setting expectations can help, particularly with older children.
In addition to reaching out for help, the Academy recommends parents facing acute stress try to take just a few seconds to ask themselves:
  • Does the problem represent an immediate danger?
  • How will I feel about this problem tomorrow?
  • Is this situation permanent?
“Positive, nurturing relationships are so important for children as they develop, and parents and caregivers also need support-especially during times of uncertainty and stress like we’re in now,” said Suzanne Haney, MD FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Child Abuse and Neglect. “Everyone can play a role within their own family and in their network of friends and neighbors to support the most vulnerable among us.”

Information source: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/The-American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Advises-Parents-Experiencing-Stress-over-COVID-19.aspx


 

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