child stares out window looking sad or worried

Adults are feeling restless, frustrated, and overloaded by information. And while children may not feel overwhelmed by constant coronavirus updates, they know there’s a crisis going on.

To help with that, Child Trends has published an in-depth look at ways to help children in these troubled times. “Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic” brings together recommendations from trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts.

  • Understand that reactions to the pandemic may vary.
  • Ensure the presence of a sensitive and responsive caregiver.
  • Social distancing should not mean social isolation.
  • Provide age-appropriate information.
  • Create a safe physical and emotional environment by practicing the 3 R’s: reassurance, routines, and regulation.
  • Keep children busy.
  • Increase children’s self-efficacy.
  • Create opportunities for caregivers (which may mean yourself!) to take care of themselves.
  • Seek professional help if children show signs of trauma that do not resolve relatively quickly.
  • Emphasize strengths, hope, and positivity.

Read the article for detail on each of these points and for a list of resources for children, parents/caregivers, educators/childcare providers, and communities.