Manataba Messenger

Page 12 Helping Children Cope Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confi- dently, they can provide the best sup- port for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better pre- pared. Watch for behavior changes in your child Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include: · Excessive crying or irritation in younger children. · Returning to behaviors they have out- grown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting). · Excessive worry or sadness. · Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits. · Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens. · Poor school performance or avoiding school. · Difficulties with attention and concen- tration. · Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past. · Unexplained headaches or body pain. · Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. Ways to support your child · Talk with your child about the COVID- 19 outbreak. · Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand. · Reassure your child that they are safe. Let them know it is okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn from you how to cope with stress. · Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand. · Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities. · Be a role model. Take breaks, get plen- ty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members. · Spending time with your child in meaningful activities, reading together, exercising, and playing board games. Social Services is available for staff ses- sions or open discussions (complying with social distance guidelines). Candy H Escorza, MA, LMSW Social Services – Social Worker Parker Indian Health Center Office: 928/669-2137 Ext 3118