(WSVN) - Everyone has questions about the coronavirus, especially kids.
Many parents are wondering how to talk about it with them.
Closed businesses, empty store shelves, social distancing and a serious illness wreaking havoc across the country, coronavirus is taking its toll on everyone.
Dr. Leon Mandler, a psychologist said, “You know, people are just feeling, more stressed.”
The fear surrounding the coronavirus can cause difficult emotions in both adults and children, especially as everyone is forced to completely change their everyday lives and figure out a way to cope.
Mandler said, “We’re not even at the new normal yet, which I think also triggers more anxiety.”
Mandler said the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, as well as the chaos caused by it, has consumed his clients’ fears and become the major topic at appointments.
Mandler added, “That’s not just with the kids and the teens that I’m working with, it’s the parents as well.”
With parks closed across South Florida, you can’t even take time here for the kids to let off some steam.
Dr. Mandler said that’s why it’s so important to have a set routine, so your kids know what they are doing every day.
Mandler suggested, “Actually write out a calendar. Nine o’clock we’re getting up, breakfast. Remote school between this time and this time, family activity at this time.”
Knowing what to expect day-to-day helps keep anxiety away for children, and always be there to answer their questions.
Mandler said, “If they say, when am I going back to school? If you don’t know, it’s OK to say I don’t know. But giving them some information, talk about what we’re doing to stay even safer and just to provide some reassurance. That’s going to be really helpful.”
When things get too difficult, Dr. Mandler said that it’s OK to let them disconnect for a while.
“Yes, it might be OK to play a little bit of the Xbox for the kid. Yes, it’s OK for a parent to binge-watch a show.”
With families stuck at home for the long haul, finding the right balance may take a little time, so don’t get upset if things don’t seem perfect at first.
Mandler said, “Some of it’s going to be difficult, but the closer we can get to that, I think is going to be what’s going to help us get through.”
Mandler also encouraged parents to schedule some me-time of their own.
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