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Helping Children with Stress & Anxiety Due to the Coronavirus

Children are vulnerable but very resilient as well. This can be a stressful time for children during the pandemic and spread of Coronavirus but there is plenty of information out there to help maintain it.

The CDC had supplied some great resources and information to help with children and stress due to the Coronavirus.

What to Tell Children About the Coronavirus Pandemic

This is straight from the CDC website:

Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after an emergency. Some children react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. How a child reacts and the common signs of distress can vary according to the child’s age, previous experiences, and how the child typically copes with stress.

Children react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with a disaster calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

People can become more distressed if they see repeated images of a disaster in the media. Early on, consider limiting the amount of exposure you and your loved ones get to media coverage.

Factors that Influence the Emotional Impact on Children in Emergencies

Helping Children Cope During and After a Hurricane: A Resource for Parents and Caregivers

Helping Children Cope During and After a Hurricane: A Resource for Parents and Caregivers pdf icon[PDF – 822kb]

The amount of damage caused from a disaster can be overwhelming. The destruction of homes and separation from school, family, and friends can create a great amount of stress and anxiety for children.

The emotional impact of an emergency on a child depends on a child’s characteristics and experiences, the social and economic circumstances of the family and community, and the availability of local resources. Not all children respond in the same ways. Some might have more severe, longer-lasting reactions. The following specific factors may affect a child’s emotional response:

  • Direct involvement with the emergency
  • Previous traumatic or stressful event
  • Belief that the child or a loved one may die
  • Loss of a family member, close friend, or pet
  • Separation from caregivers
  • Physical injury
  • How parents and caregivers respond
  • Family resources
  • Relationships and communication among family members
  • Repeated exposure to mass media coverage of the emergency and aftermath
  • Ongoing stress due to the change in familiar routines and living conditions
  • Cultural differences
  • Community resilience

What You Can Do to Help Children Cope with a Disaster

Children's coloring activity

This is an activity page for younger children to learn about coping after a disaster.
Download and print the activity sheet pdf icon[PDF – 904 KB, Print]

Setting a good example for your children by managing your stress through healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol, is critical for parents and caregivers. When you are prepared, rested, and relaxed you can respond better to unexpected events and can make decisions in the best interest of your family and loved ones.

The following tips can help reduce stress before, during, and after a disaster or traumatic event.

  • Talk to your children so that they know you are prepared to keep them safe.
  • Review safety plans before a disaster or emergency happens. Having a plan will increase your children’s confidence and help give them a sense of control.
  • Stay calm and reassure your children.
  • Talk to children about what is happening in a way that they can understand.   Keep it simple and appropriate for each child’s age.
  • Provide children with opportunities to talk about what they went through or what they think about it. Encourage them to share concerns and ask questions.
  • You can help your children feel a sense of control and manage their feelings by encouraging them to take action directly related to the disaster. For example, children can help others after a disaster, including volunteering to help community or family members in a safe environment. Children should NOT participate in disaster cleanup activities for health and safety reasons.
  • It is difficult to predict how some children will respond to disasters and traumatic events. Because parents, teachers, and other adults see children in different situations, it is important for them to work together to share information about how each child is coping after a traumatic event.

Common Reactions

The common reactions to distress will fade over time for most children. Children who were directly exposed to a disaster can become upset again; behavior related to the event may return if they see or hear reminders of what happened. If children continue to be very upset or if their reactions hurt their schoolwork or relationships then parents may want to talk to a professional or have their children talk to someone who specializes in children’s emotional needs. Learn more about common reactions to distress:

For infants to 2 year olds

Infants may become more cranky. They may cry more than usual or want to be held and cuddled more.

For 3 to 6 year olds

Preschool and kindergarten children may return to behaviors they have outgrown. For example, toileting accidents, bed-wetting, or being frightened about being separated from their parents/caregivers. They may also have tantrums or a hard time sleeping.

For 7 to 10 year olds

Older children may feel sad, mad, or afraid that the event will happen again. Peers may share false information; however, parents or caregivers can correct the misinformation. Older children may focus on details of the event and want to talk about it all the time or not want to talk about it at all. They may have trouble concentrating.

For preteens and teenagers

Some preteens and teenagers respond to trauma by acting out. This could include reckless driving, and alcohol or drug use. Others may become afraid to leave the home. They may cut back on how much time they spend with their friends. They can feel overwhelmed by their intense emotions and feel unable to talk about them. Their emotions may lead to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents/caregivers or other adults.

For special needs children

Children who need continuous use of a breathing machine or are confined to a wheelchair or bed, may have stronger reactions to a threatened or actual disaster. They might have more intense distress, worry or anger than children without special needs because they have less control over day-to-day well-being than other people. The same is true for children with other physical, emotional, or intellectual limitations. Children with special needs may need extra words of reassurance, more explanations about the event, and more comfort and other positive physical contact such as hugs from loved ones.

Helping Kids Learn During Quarantine

As parents, we need to make sure our kids continue to learn even when they are not in school.

There have been so many resources offered to help continue to teach children at home. If your school is not providing lessons or you want to do more check these out below.

This massive list is from AtoZ Homeschooling

Big History Project 
Introduce your middle- and high-school students to a supercharged social studies curriculum. Big History Project is a free, online, and totally awesome social studies course that puts skills development and student engagement first. What can you expect to see? Amazing gains in student writing and critical thinking.

Concordia University Lesson Plans
Elementary level. Prep for class with comprehensive, teacher-created lesson plans. Ideas for differentiation mean these free lesson plans make learning fun for every student.

Easy Fun School
Making homeschooling more enjoyable for both child and parent.
Lesson Plans – Worksheets – Teacher’s Lesson Plans – WebQuests – Primary Teacher Resources – Math Lesson Plans – Writing Lesson Plans – Reading Lesson Plans – Science Lesson Plans – Technology Lesson Plans – Social Studies Lesson Plans.

From the National Endowment for the Humanities. Lessons and units for art and culture, literature and language arts, foreign language, and history and social studies.

Education World Lesson Plan Center
A resource for lesson plans and research materials.

Educational Resources and Lesson Plans
Over 1000 links to lesson plans and other resources of potential use to homeschoolers. It also includes lesson plans and resources unique to this site.

Free Printables
Print out unlimited copies of your favorite projects including art, deals, and greeting cards. This is the most comprehensive site offering every kind of easily-printed activity that you can simply copy on your home computer.

Fresh Plans
Cross-curricular lesson plans on all sorts of fascinating topics.

Google for Educators
This website is one of the ways we’re working to bolster that support and explore how Google and educators can work together.

Grade Level Skills Help Pages
These links are grade specific to help students practice on specific concept areas. Caution: As a teacher, you know that if a child doesn’t understand a skill, they will still not know it if they are put on the computer to practice it. These skill practices are suggested to be used with adult or peer assistance until the student has a basic skill knowledge that can be improved with some extra practice.

Homeschool Huskies and Ponies
Sets of workbooks and projects in different topics. Patches given as awards for completion.

Ideas For Homeschoolers
Marty Layne, of Victoria, BC, posts her monthly newsletter in her delightful writing style that will delight and enthrall you.

Kitchen table Classroom
Tips and tidbits on how to make learning fun! On this site, we offer a new tidbit each day, so come back often.

K to the 8th Power
Over 600 lessons which are organized into integrated and cross-curricular lessons. The integrated lessons teach a computer skill and apply it to grade level academic content.

Learn NC
A program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education, finds the most innovative and successful practices in K-12 education and makes them available to teachers and students.

Learning Partners
A Guide to Educational Activities for Families that covers a lot of topics: reading, math, science, geography, history, writing, responsible behavior, and many more. For each topic, there are activities that you can do with your children to reinforce learning. Most are simple, everyday activities.

Lesson Bank
The Teachers.Net Lesson Bank is your opportunity to share your most precious asset – your teaching ideas and lesson plans.

Lesson Plan Center
Let help you create innovative plans quickly with our large inventory of ideas and materials.

Lesson Plans – Teaching and Learning With The New York Times
A Learning Network lesson plan directory, covering all academic subjects from this past year. Maybe you’ve just gotten a class subscription to, or maybe, at a time when everyone’s talking about “fake news,” you would like your students to understand what makes a trusted, 165-year-old news source different from invented information created by jobless young people in need of cash.

Lesson Tutor
Free reproducible lesson plans, unit studies and print ready worksheets for all levels, all abilities and all subjects of Grade School and High School. Featured articles will give you general teaching and learning encouragement, references and support.

Mensa For Kids
Parents and teachers will find many lesson plans geared to gifted youth on the Mensa For Kids website. The plans are developed at a number of grade levels at which gifted youth can complete the lessons without adult assistance. Additionally, there are educational activity plans appropriate for use in school-based programs, as well as in the home.

Newton’s Apple: Teacher’s Guides
A complete collection of Teacher’s Guides from season 9 through 15 is available. Mostly science lessons, though a few from other topics as well.

Large K-12 resource library. Free. Assessments, videos, lesson plans, customized by grade, subject areas, and standards you may wish to use. If you have questions, there’s a chat window in the lower right. Secular.

Outta Ray’s Head
A collection of lesson plans with handouts for writing, literature, poetry, and using the library, by Ray Saitz and many contributors.

PBS Teachers Source
Updated monthly. Resources so you can integrate PBS shows with your unit studies. After 3 resource views, you must create an account.

Stephen Fry has quietly co-founded a startup that bills itself as a “Pinterest for education.” Lessons for highly visual learners, such as those with dyslexia.

Read Write Think
Access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction through free, Internet-based content.

Scholastic Lesson Plans & Reproducibles
Pick a grade level Pre-k through 8th grade and then a topic to locate a variety of lesson plans teaching that skill.

School Express
Free weekly units, free worksheets for online and offline study, and software to download.

Smithsonian Education
Arts, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies plans.

Offers teachers FREE access to lesson plans, printable worksheets, over 150,000 reviewed web sites, rubrics, educational games, teaching/ technology tips, advice from expert teachers, and more.

Teach With Movies
Through movies, introduce children to major events in history, principles of science, extraordinary people, literature, drama, dance, art, character development, and ethics. Low annual subscription rate for hundreds of movies.

Teacher Created Materials
Free monthly activities, lesson plans, and brain teasers. New each month as well as archives.

Teachers Corner
Lessons categorized by monthly and holiday or date themes, mostly for young children.

Teachers Pay Teachers
Free lesson plans, worksheets and other resources created by teachers for teachers. Ones for a fee also available.

Teaching Tolerance
These robust, ready-to-use classroom lessons offer breadth and depth, spanning essential social justice topics and reinforcing critical social emotional learning skills.

Texas Instruments Activities Exchange
Browse by subject area or submit your own activity ideas. Learn to use TI calculators to solve real-world problems.

A variety of lesson plans that align with education standards to allow teachers and students to apply engineering principles in the classroom.

United States Census Bureau
Free activities for preschool to 12th grade all free and easy to use.

Youth Learn
Relevant, creative materials that can help you make good use of new technology. Look here for planning guides, teaching techniques, activities, projects, and more.

Zearn is a nonprofit curriculum publisher and software developer on a mission to ensure all children love learning math.  At the core of our mission is a belief that an understanding and love of mathematics is critical to helping all children realize their potential and to creating a generation of engaged learners who can change the world.

Stay in Touch and Connect with Your Kids

Not everything you do with your kids in quarantine ha to be learning it can be fun games and reading books! Take a look at my previous posts for free printables, tracing sheets, and games to play at home.

Sharing helps me out so much!

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