You know life is hard for kids (and for you) right now. There are so many reasons kids are struggling—-no in-person school, few school sports, very little social life, former routine completely upended, fear of getting ill, and possibly living with distracted, anxious parents. This is a short blog to remind you to check-in with your kids often. They need you.
What does a check-in look like? It means setting aside time and asking your child how he is doing. It can be as little as 15 minutes a day. Really listen. Be empathetic. Be present. See if there is anything you can do to ease your child’s life. Think of the last time someone really listened to you and try to do the same for your child.
Use existing resources to check-in with kids
You already have a lot of resources to use. Here is a reminder of some of the things to do. (The highlighted text will take you to a the site that explains the resource in more detail.)
- Give your child your uninterrupted time. 15 minutes a day can make a difference.
- Get together with other families in your pod to increase your child’s social life.
- Make sure there is outdoor fun planned.
- Importantly, check what your child’s Worry Monster might be saying to him or her and make a plan. (See Shrinking the Worry Monster book).
- Make a DIY Worry Monster Box and have everyone in the family use it.
- Schedule Worry Time daily—you could just call it Talk Time.
- Also, take care of yourself. You have to be healthy to do check-ins with your child.
In conclusion, this is a reminder to keep checking in with your kids. You will all be healthier for it, have more fun, and your child will know you are there for him or her during this hard time.
Sally Baird, PhD is a retired child psychologist and co-author of a new book titled Shrinking the Worry Monster, A Kids’ Guide for Saying Goodbye to Worries. See her website at www.drsallyb.com. If your child has worries about COVID-19, you may want to read Dr. Sally’s blog on helping kids who worry about the pandemic, school, illness, and so much more!