Don’t forget your children’s mental health! GUIDE #3

Listen to them Allow your children to express their feelings in their own words or through play (dolls, drawings, etc.). Listen to their concerns and their need for reassurance. Respond to their fears with kindness and give them a lot of love and attention.

If your children are worried about the pandemic, the following advice can help you to better support them during the coronavirus COVID-19 events in Québec. The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the unprecedented preventive measures that have been implemented are a new reality, one that can be especially difficult to deal with. Just like you, your young children and teenagers may worry about what is happening. Whatever your children’s age, they need to be reassured and know that they can count on you and feel that you will protect them.

Make room for playtime and relaxation

It is so important for your children to find comfort by playing and doing activities they enjoy. Short of solutions? Physical activity: Dance, obstacle races, skipping rope, games of skill, stationary cycling, yoga, playing in the back yard, aerobics, bodybuilding, etc. Creative pastimes: Drawing, crafts, painting, writing, singing, origami, plasticine, knitting, photography, etc. Games: Board games, blocks, role-play, memory games, hide-and-seek, cards, and dress-up, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku, hidden word, etc. Entertainment: Listen to music, watch movies and shows, podcasts, TV series, etc. Relaxation: Read a book or a fairy tale, magazine or comic book; meditate, do relaxation exercises, etc. Educational activities: Do homework, browse an educational website like, learn a new language, visit virtual museums, etc. Other: Cook, help out with the housework, sort photos, etc.

Speak to them frankly when explaining things Use simple words that are age-appropriate. Explain that very easy-to-use hygienic measures are there to protect them, including regularly washing their hands, coughing into the crook of their elbow, etc. Show them how they work. Keep a positive outlook and tell them that doctors and scientists are hard at work on solutions that include medicine and a vaccine. Respond to their questions and always tell them up front when you don’t know the answer for now. Avoid moralizing with your teenager. Ensure that the situation is well understood by your teens and correct any wrong information that they express. Do not minimize the situation and encourage them to call a telephone support hotline if they feel the need.

Keep to your family routine A family routine and a stable environment are the best ways to maintain your children’s sense of security. Ensure that the daily schedule includes wake-up, bedtime, eating, games and structured activities and leaves time for relaxation. Make a healthy lifestyle your priority: Eat right, drink a lot of water, stay active, and try to relax and sleep enough.

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