3 tips on soothing your child during quarantine
Updated: Apr 9
During tough times and stressful situations, it can feel as if our worlds have been turned upside down. Trust us, we know! While you’ve done your best to explain the current situation, your little ones are probably still asking questions like, “Why are mommy and daddy home all the time?” “Why can’t I go to school yet?” “Will, I ever see another caterpillar again?” Your children look to you for guidance and comfort, so this is the perfect opportunity to show them that, even in times of uncertainty, your family is in this together no matter what.
Here are 3 tips on soothing your child during quarantine:
Model Healthy Ways of Coping
Children look to adults to see how they should feel and react, so as much as possible, stay calm. Let your children know that it’s OK to have many different feelings and thoughts and that they can and should express them. Saying “I get scared/worried sometimes too, and I know it can feel icky inside” can help validate their feelings, reassure them they’re not alone and that what they’re feeling is normal. Then, give them a long hug to show that you and they can self-soothe.
Stick to Routines
Children always find comfort in the predictable and familiar. Keep bedtime routines the same if possible, maybe choosing one lullaby or story they can look forward to every night. It may be helpful to keep a journal with their day-to-day review and figure out what is best for you and your family. Remember, it’s OK to be flexible and change the order of some activities. What matters most is providing structure to your child’s day. You can even create a schedule with them. Write it down on a to-do board you can refer to every day so they feel in control of their life.
Watch Your Child Play!
Observe and listen. Children under age seven often voice their thoughts as they play, cluing you in as to what is on their minds and giving you the chance to follow up with them later. You can keep a notebook and write down all their new accomplishments each week, like “This week Timmy learned how to jump on two feet!” It also helps to teach children positive ways to show or cope with their big feelings by talking about them, drawing pictures, writing stories, dancing and moving, singing, or having some quiet time. It’s all about healthy expression!