Counseling Resources for Families
For more information about how to talk with your children about the Coronavirus, here are several resources:
- Ariadne Labs: Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day
- Childmind Institute Article: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- Childmind Institute Video: How to Talk to Kids About the Coronavirus
- NPR Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
- Psychology Today: How to Talk to Your Anxious Child About the Coronavirus
- BrainPop Video for Young Children on Coronavirus
- New York Times Parenting: How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
- National Association of School Psychologists: Parent Resource
- Morningside Center: Guidelines for Talking with Students about the Coronavirus
- School cancellation and trauma: COVID-19, School Cancellation, and Trauma
- Indoor activities for kids: 21 Enjoyable Indoor Games For Kids
- Fablefy Mindfulness Bootcamp Videos: Mindfulness Bootcamp - 21 days of Guided Mindfulness Videos for Parents and Educators
- Go Noodle - Rainbow Breath Relaxation Video: https://youtu.be/O29e4rRMrV4
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA_SsZFYw0w&feature=youtu.be- A child's story about Coronavirus
Mindfulness: Going on a Safari
Just One Breath: Breathing Activity
Going on a Safari is a creative mindfulness activity that helps redirect the focus away from stress and anxiety.
Physical activity is a wonderful way to infuse positive energy back into the body.
You can go outside on an exciting adventure on your next walk or trip to the backyard. As you walk put all of your senses to work by paying close attention to your environment. Notice the feel of the air on your skin, notice the sound of the ground as you walk and pay attention to all of the little movements and sensations.
As you walk, you can also try picking up a small rock or touching a plant or flower. Notice the bugs or the birds. Take a moment to kneel down and touch the earth. Walk mindfully paying close attention to everything. Make sure you walk in silence because you want to notice all those little details.
Walking is a wonderful stress-relieving activity because it helps clear the mind and sparks creative ideas. Try going on a safari the next time your child gets frustrated and you might be surprised at how well this works.
- Big Life Journal
The heartbeat exercise is a wonderful grounding activity because it allows your child to focus on the sensations in the body. This exercise is a wonderful activity to do if your child is feeling stressed or anxious.
For example, if your child is working on a project for school and getting frustrated or feeling stuck, you can gently redirect them by asking them to STOP what they are doing and take a break.
Ask your child to stand up and either jump up and down or do jumping jacks for one minute. At the end of that minute, have them place their hand on their heart and pay attention to how their heartbeat and their breathing feels.
Tuning into the physical body is a wonderful way to redirect the focus. With this new burst of energy, your child will feel a new motivation to complete the previous task.
- Big Life Journal
Find a relaxing place where you and your child will not be disturbed. Sit in a comfortable posture. This activity can be done in as little as one minute, but you can also do it for longer periods of time.
Begin by setting a timer for one minute.
Start breathing deeply in and out. Notice how the breath feels as it moves in and out of your body. Notice how the air feels on your skin. Pay attention to any sensations that you notice or any sounds that you hear.
Take another slow deep breath and see if you can imagine how the breath moves down into the lungs and then back up again.
Take one more deep breath and hold the breath for a moment - then release it.
Afterward, notice how you feel after taking this one-minute break.
- Big Life Journal
Tense and Release Muscle Relaxation
Mindfulness Activity: Tense and Release Muscle Relaxation
In this activity, you will gently tense and then release each large muscle group without straining too hard. Try to tense each muscle for approximately 5 seconds for the best results. This activity is perfect prior to going to sleep because it helps the body release tension. Have your child try this activity lying down after they get into bed for the night.
Starting at the feet, gently squeeze the muscles in the feet by tightening them, then slowly releasing. You can also point the toes up and then back down for a gentle release.
Next, squeeze the large muscles in the calves for 5 seconds, then gently release. Working your way up the body, squeeze the thigh muscles for 5 seconds then gently release. Notice how much calmer you feel already.
Next tense and release the hips and buttocks. You can also do this by straightening the legs and then releasing the tension.
Squeeze the abdomen and chest next and gently release. Notice the wave of relaxation moving through you.
Now slowly draw both hands into fists and squeeze tightly for about 5 seconds then release. Point your arms and hands out straight while squeezing tightly then releasing next.
Finally, shift your attention to your neck and shoulders. Raise your shoulders up towards your ears and squeeze for 5 seconds then release. Do this a couple more times and feel the gentle release.
Gently move your head from side to side 2-3 times and then relax.
If you would like to, you can continue this activity back down the body for more relaxation.
The tensing and relaxing of the muscles of the body helps release the strain and stress of the day helping your child get a wonderful night's rest.
- Big Life Journal