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Supporting Children & Teens During COVID-19

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Contact: Lynn Falcone, CEO

The following educational pieces on supporting our children/teens during COVID-19 were prepared and shared from Methodist Children's Hospital. This is another wonderful benefit of Cuero Health's partnership with Methodist Healthcare System.

Click each link to view the pdf.

Supporting Preschool Age Children During COVID-19

Supporting School Age Children During COVID-19

Supporting Teens during COVID-19

Supporting School Age Children During COVID-19

Developmental Level
• Children between the ages of 6 and 12 think in terms of concrete operations and often understand things best through their own experiences.
• A sense of mastery and feeling successful are vital to this developmental age group.
• Peer relationships are increasingly valuable to successfully reach social and emotional development milestones.

Talking about COVID-19

1. Ask them what they know about COVID-19
• This allows for any misconceptions that may have occurred to be cleared up by providing developmentally appropriate information. By taking the time to speak with your child about recent changes, it lets them know you are still there for them – even though so many other things have changed.

2. Provide concrete explanations that focus on things that we are doing to protect our family and community. Below is an example to help guide you as you have these hard conversations.
“Germs are what make people feel sick when they have a cold or the flu. COVID-19 is a sickness caused by a group of new germs. Most times when people get COVID-19 germs they can get better at home by resting and taking medicine. Sometimes when people get COVID-19 germs, people will need will need extra help. People needing extra help will go to the hospital. That is because at the hospital doctors and nurses have special machines that help bodies breath when they need extra help, these machines can’t go to someone’s house- that’s why people to come to the hospital. That is why your family member still goes to work, so they can help take care of people that need their help.
When your family members are at work, we do a lot of special things to keep them safe. Sometimes your family member might wear special clothes when taking care of people who need help. They may wear a gown, mask, and gloves to protect them. Another big way we protect each other is by washing our hands. It’s kind of like they are like superheroes who wear a cape and mask to help people, just instead of a cape they wear a mask or a gown.
You may be wondering why you don’t have to go to school while your family members are still going to work. The reason your school is closed right now is because germs often spread quickly when big groups of people are together. That is why churches, schools, parks and restaurants aren’t open right now. The less large groups of people that are together the less likely the germs will make more people sick. By having less large groups of people we are helping the doctors and nurses, so that less people will share they’re the COVID-19 germs. This lets them focus on the people that really need their help”

3. Validate their feelings
• Vocalize that any big change can be hard even for adults and validate the changes that your child has experienced all at once.
• Reassure children that it is okay to feel multiple feelings at once. Work together with your child to find ways they enjoy expressing themselves.

Tips to Support Coping
• Increase your child’s ability to feel they have mastered their new routine
• Encourage connection with peers via various tech platforms
• Have your school age child take the lead on planning a family game or movie night to promote family unit bonding
• Give your child an opportunity to express questions in a unique manner, these could include writing in a journal, drawing a picture, making a sock puppet to express how they are feeling
If you feel your child would benefit from one on one support from a Certified Child Life Specialist, please email us. Our Child Life Team is here to provide developmentally appropriate education and support via Zoom (an online chat program).