Support for parents is vital for children’s well being
“We understand isolation, though necessary for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, can be very challenging for families with children,” stated Ed Bride, deputy/development director at Prevent Child Abuse Vermont (PCAVT) in a recent news release.
Young children need and actually thrive with predictable structure to their days, as well as attention and interactive play. They need their naps and their down time too, as well as exercise and time to play outdoors, Bride said.
Older kids need peers as well as alone time. Phone and computer time allowing for Skype and FaceTime will help older kids in particular get through, Bride stated. But just like younger children, they need outdoor time, exercise and projects to occupy their minds. They also need talk time with parents.
These needs, if not met, can result in children and parents’ being in conflict with each other, feeling frustrated and upset. During this difficult time, some kids may not verbally express their feelings for fear of making parents upset and more anxious. Adults may argue and lose their tempers with children, partners and other family members. Worries about unemployment, food insecurity and other very real problems can make managing stress very tough, Bride said.
“We all need ways to take breaks from each other. Going for walks alone, reading a book, meditating, listening to music, playing music, baking and trying out new crafts and getting cleaning and sorting projects done and taking naps can all keep us feeling more relaxed and at home in our homes,” he said.
Support for parents is vital for children’s well being and for collective mental health. “Remember that we are not in it alone and that it is through our networks of friends, professional helpers, community supports like schools making lunch available, food banks, telemedicine, and psychotherapy, social services, extensions of unemployment and help-lines we will in fact get through this together. Vermont is strong!” Bride continued.
Ideas about how to stay connected and still be safe are important! There are resources online at PCAVT.org. If you would like to speak with a live parent support person call the Parents Help Line, 1-800-CHILDREN, or 229-5724, or 211. The line is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please leave a message and someone will call you back shortly.