Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
Child development expert Dr. Rahil Briggs spoke with co-host Arthel Neville on “America’s News HQ” on Saturday where they discussed how families can maintain their emotional health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know that there are two main ingredients for happy and healthy children and families. Safe, stable and nurturing relationships and a sense of routine and predictability,” Briggs said.
Briggs warmed that young children may absorb their parents’ worries during the coronavirus crisis, comparing them to “little recording devices,” before delivering three suggestions to help your children.
“One, take good care of yourself so that you can take good care of your children. Go easy on yourself,” Briggs said. “Ask for help. Create quiet time for yourself.”
Briggs advised a “daily schedule for your child.”
“Try to ensure there’s playtime time without screens and, if possible, safe outdoor time. Expect that behavior will change. Expect that you might see more tantrums, sleep disruption, maybe even feeding difficulties,” Briggs said. “And for sure, they’re probably going to sense your stress and want an extra hug or two.”
The child development expert also advised parents to be “in a good place” when trying to connect with a child.
“If you’re not, stop,” Briggs said. “Take a break. Ask for help.”
Briggs also spoke about the difficulty the coronavirus outbreak may have on divorced parents, saying it may be best to stick to one household during the crisis.
“So explain to [the children] why things are different right now. Try to honor that same time. Try to connect via phone, video. Have activities they can do during that time,” Briggs said. “And finally, remember, it’s not your fault. It’s not your child’s fault.”
“We could all benefit from… a bit more kindness and a bit more grace during these really difficult times,” Briggs added.