Managing anxiety in children post lockdownPosted by Michael MOE, 22 July, 2021
It’s been a funny, anxiety-filled 18 months, and not one any of us could have foreseen or planned for. But now that restrictions are easing as of this week, and ‘bubbles’ will go back to being things we blow come the new term in September, we’ve been thinking about ways we can try managing anxiety in children post lockdown: it’s been so confusing for them (and us) that the chances are they could use a little help untangling their feelings…
Hang out with friends
With the summer break stretching ahead of us and plenty of time to fill with fun, we can’t wait to get busy catching up with old and new friends over picnics, going on outdoor adventures and hitting the playground. Good old-fashioned fun is a great way of distracting little ones from anxiety, and normal life resuming will help them get back on ‘out and about’ track. And don’t forget, if you’re looking to get your gardens ‘play date friendly’, we’ve got some wonderful ideas on how to bring the beach to your garden this summer, and a whole heap of role play resources that will really encourage little ones to express their feelings.
Let your children know that it’s okay not to feel okay and talking about their anxiety and worries will definitely help. Restrictions may be lifting, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be feeling miffed by it all: lockdown has been their normality for a big part of their young lives after all! Have a look for some picture books to help them deal with their feelings that you can read and discuss together.
Spread the kindness
We all got busy with rainbow craft during lockdown, but now those rainbows can spread further than your windows, why not encourage your little ones to create and write some rainbow thankyou notes to all the people that were part of their pandemic experiences. If they’re too small to write, pictures speak a thousand words anyway so break out the crayons (and we happen to have some rather wonderful art easels to help with the creative process!). Whether it’s notes to a grandparent, the postie or a teacher, a small kindness goes a long way when it comes to the feelgood factor for the kids!
Enrol them in a summer club
Meeting new friends and discovering new activities will keep children busy, healthy and happy during the school hols for sure. There’s no time to feel anxious when you’re den building, climbing trees and fishing at an adventure-packed Holiday Club!
When it comes to managing anxiety in children, you know your kids better than anyone so if you navigate these weird times together, we’re sure everyone will come out the other side smiling. And how wonderful it will be to see those smiles minus the masks when the time comes! Woohoo to that!
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