It can be difficult to know how well your kids cope with the impact of school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. By now, most kids will have been home for several weeks, divided from their friends and day-to-day routine. It can be worrying to know whether or not our child is ok. So, here are some ideas on how to get your kids to talk about their feelings.
The first thing you can do is act it out. Sometimes kids will open up to you by pretending to be someone – or something – else. Suggest they act out to be you or their teacher, and see what they say. You can also gather some of their dolls and ask them to role-play a scene.
A second option could be to open up about your own feelings. Children pay close attention to the way their parents speak and act. So, through role-modeling, we can encourage an open environment with our children. Try, without worrying them unnecessarily, to talk with your kids about your feelings and how you’re coping with the situation, and encourage them to do the same.
Another possibility is to create an associations generator with your kid. Ask your children to write what comes to there mind when you say: “I feel…”. See what they come up with to know more about where they are during this time. Yet another option could be to look at photos of people you know or pictures in a book and ask your child to tell you a story about how they’re feeling.
The final option I’m going to present to you is creating a safe space to share at your house. According to Dr. Helen McCarthy, a clinical psychologist also known as The Appetite Doctor, creating a ‘safe space’ to discuss emotions and concerns about all sorts of things is extremely important. “Your child will love being included when their point of view is listened to respectfully, questioned or agreed with,” Dr. McCarthy says.
I hope the suggestions above will help you achieve a better understanding of where your children’s minds are during this difficult time. Hopefully, better days are upon us. Stay safe.