Anxious Times Call for Calming Steps

posted 2/23/21 -- Let’s face it, we have not been living our “normal” lives for quite some time. Not only has your own life been disrupted, so have the lives of everyone in your family - including its youngest members.

Children are very sensitive to disruptions and their lack of communication skills may make it difficult to express this to you. The language they use may come in the form of misbehavior or regression (as in a potty-trained child having accidents).

Here are some tips to help you through anxious days:

Deal with your own anxiety first. Stop and take a few deep breaths before delivering any news that may upset your children. They will take cues from your demeanor.

Turn off the news! There are many troubling statistics and events being reported, and most are not appropriate for little ears or eyes.

If your child is showing regression by having accidents or baby-talking, do not overreact. Negative attention can reinforce a behavior.

Create a “safe spot” for your child. Use pillows, blankets, books or other comfort items to make a space your child can visit to regain a sense of calm.

Get outside! Fresh air and exercise do wonders in changing a mood.

Create routines. Children thrive on predictable schedules. If you don’t have a morning or bedtime routine, this is a great time to set one. Even better, create a visual schedule that shows each step of the routine (bedtime story, kiss, go to sleep). Try to stay within five steps or it may be too overwhelming.

Finally, remember that your Head Start partners are here to help. We can teach breathing techniques, help create picture schedules, or just be here to listen.

If you want further assistance or tips, you can also reach out to our Mental Health Consultant, Donna Jezewski at 440-752-0039, or by email at [email protected]