As much as we try to shelter our child from the stress of what’s happening in the world right now, we can’t shield them from it all. Their reality has been altered. School closures, not being able to hug grandparents or visit friends, not going out to the playground, movies, or even the store, and maybe hearing the hushed whispers of adults are just a few of the changes your child may be facing.
Even though we are doing our best as parents to make things as normal as possible for them, chances are, they still carry with them some concern. Worry in a child may look like:
teasing or arguing with siblings more than usual being irritable having trouble falling asleep or having nightmares whining outbursts or meltdowns being rigid/inflexible quick or easy to anger easily frustrated big emotions asking a lot of questions aggression What can you do to help your child through this? Offer hope.
Talk about the future without making promises you can’t keep. The statement “Someday, you’ll be able to tell your kids that you were 9 years old during the 2020 pandemic.” is very powerful. It conveys to them that this will not end the world. That they have a future to look forward to and it also helps them feel like what they are doing now will hold a place in history.
Help them focus on the positive.
There is so much surrounding them that is difficult right now that it can be easy for kids (and adults) to slip into negative thought patterns. “It’s never going to get better.” “I can’t do …”
By helping them reframe what they are going through in more positive language, kids can shift their thinking to gratitude and hopefulness.
Give them an outlet for expressing their feelings.
When kids are able to identify their feelings, they can better manage them. By tracking their emotions, they can also learn to communicate about them. This helps parents and teachers be able to help them through even the most difficult emotions and enables them to equip their child or student with appropriate calm down strategies and tools to better manage those.
What the 2020 Pandemic Journal for Kids includes: 19 printable pages prompts to help kids document the journey for a time capsule keepsake pages for them to help identify and process their emotions new habit tracker gratitude journal encouraging colouring pages ideas to help them focus on the positives and more How to Use the Journal:
2020 Pandemic Journal for Kids (download yours here) pen or pencil markers, crayons, or pencil crayons scissors glue stick or glue
Download the pandemic journal. Print off the pages. You may want to make multiple copies of some of the pages such as the gratitude page and daily journal. Have your child complete the pages of the journal. If you want to, you can hole punch the papers to keep them in a binder or duo tang. How to adapt the Pandemic Journal for Preschoolers:
Even preschoolers can easily use this tool. They can colour the title page and colouring pages, a parent can help them fill in the answers for the “my life during the pandemic page” by interviewing them and recording their answers, the Feelings Log pages can be completed by colouring, cutting, and pasting, and all the other sheets can be completed by drawing rather than writing.
How to adapt the Pandemic Journal for Older Kids and Teens:
This tool can actually serve as an inspiration for your teen or older child to expand on this idea. Perhaps they will want to create a video journal or scrapbook of news articles to accompany their Pandemic Journal. Maybe they will choose to write a report on what they are learning through this experience or about the ways the world came together.
They can use the pages in the journal to write their experiences, thoughts, and emotions as well as to document the experience through their eyes. Depending on the age, maturity, and personality of your teen, they also want to follow reputable news sources to create a timeline or even write a book about the pandemic as seen through their eyes.
To download your free copy of the 2020 Pandemic Journal for Kids, enter your email address in the box below.
You may also be interested in reading:
Your Complete Guide to School at Home
How to Talk to Your Child about the Pandemic
Theme Day Ideas for Family Fun at Home
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