How parents can help children cope with coronavirus

Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 20:26:09-04

NORFOLK, Va. - This time can be a challenge for children. Parents may have noticed kids experiencing sadness, anger and denial.

Experts say children are dealing with the stages of grief. Events such as graduation and prom have been ripped from high school seniors.

News 3 spoke with a CHKD educator to discuss how parents can help their children during this time.

CHKD Child Life Specialist Michele Tyron says it's important for parents to realize that it is normal to grieve and notes that it is not helpful to try to happy them up. She says the only way to get through grief is to experience grief.

"One of the things is to kind of normalize it: Let them know that whatever they're feeling that's okay and that you're going to be with them through the hard feelings, through the difficulties just to be present with them," Tyron says.

Tyron says parents should give grief a name, validating it. She says that giving it a name helps children manage it.

The specialist stressed the importance of still providing structure amid the changes due to coronavirus.

"We do want them to do their school work. We do want them to have expectations for chores or things that need to get done. And it sounds funny, but it actually helps a child feel safe if they have expectations on them," Tyron says.

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