Here at ANFI we thought we’d use this blog to guide parents through this tough time. We’ll take you through how your child’s brain may be reacting during the coronavirus pandemic, and help you to respond in a brain smart way.
Today we wanted to take this opportunity to help parents reflect on the impact this pandemic has on their children/adolescent’s emotional wellbeing. It’s important to note that children/adolescents may not be able to verbally communicate their fears/worries that they may be experiencing during this time, rather they may show you this through their behaviours.
When our brain perceives a threat, it triggers an internal alarm system to its default network of fight/flight/freeze’ mode. This alarm response can include showing distress through behaviours rather than words. It’s important that we help children/adolescents regain feelings of safety through your relationship and reassurance. Keeping in mind the importance of spending time in helping and protecting your child, let’s aim at spending 20 mins a day in one-on-one play-time that is directed by your child. Try and keep this time of day and the duration of play consistent every day.
An important factor to consider when we are trying to protect our children, is to include asking yourself, ‘how do I feel?’, ‘Is my own brain in its Fight/Flight/Freeze mode?’.
Focusing and acknowledging your emotional responses to situations both macro and micro, will help not only yourself, but also your children. This link below, created by Dr Russ Harris will help give some guidelines on what we as parents can do to help keep our own emotions regulated:
Over the coming weeks we’ll use this space to help resource you in responding to your child in a brain smart and healing manner.