By: Kalin Goble, MS, and Jason Jowers, MS, MFT
With news updating by the hour, we are all experiencing uncertainty over the global COVID 19 outbreak. For many, every part of daily life is shifting. This includes changes to family routines, parental schedules, and children staying home from school. Considering this, fears, stress, and discomfort that often comes with big change are likely to grow within the household.
MFLN Family Development wanted to share resources that can help families and children cope during difficult times. The resources below are not exhaustive, but they do provide helpful, updated and concise information.
COVID 19 RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN
- The CDC has a comprehensive blog post of ways that parents, school staff, and others working with children can talk about COVID 19. “Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children,” goes over general principles to follow when talking to kids. It includes facts about COVID 19 that can inform and provide for simpler and safer conversations.
- Sesame Workshop has unveiled an array of new content, including the Caring for Each Other Initiative, to support families during the coronavirus pandemic. This initiative includes Sesame Street Muppets sharing messages of love and kindness, playful learning activities, and opportunities for virtual playdates that will be launching soon. Find out more about the Caring for Each Other Initiative from Sesame Workshop’s press release.
- Sesame Workshop is working on an initiative within Sesame Street in Communities. In response to health emergencies, this initiative focuses on emotional support, comfort strategies, with prevention techniques and tips. It will include learning at-home kits, where online resources are repackaged into at-home activities. Look for these on the Sesame Street in Communities page.
- At-home activities for kids from Sesame Street in Communities include:
- My Healthy Week
A printable weekly schedule to encourage healthy habits and routines.
- How to Wash Your Hands Video
Teaches the right way to stop the spread of germs by frequent and correct handwashing.
- H is for Handwashing Storybook
Explores ways that children around the globe stay healthy by looking at how we wash our hands differently or similarly to kids in other places.
- My Healthy Week
- Sesame Street for Military Families has activities on Self-Expression, Routines, and Family Health and Wellness.
- The Committee for Children, through their Second Step Program, lists COVID 19 support resources for students, families, and educators that can be utilized by service providers working with the families during this stressful time. A short podcast episode from their podcast series, The Imagination Neighborhood, addresses changes families are currently experiencing. The podcast episode “Talking to Kids About CoronaVirus Fears,” features developmental psychologist Dr. Sherri, from her “special research space station”. She discusses tools to help parents talk to kids about feeling anxious with the current changes. She assures children it is okay to be scared, and that being scared is important because it helps us remember techniques to stay “safe and healthy.”
- The MFLN blog post, “Supporting Military Families During the CoronaVirus Outbreak,” highlights information for military personnel and their families, and includes CoronaVirus Response Fact Sheets and Resources from The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.