It is okay to feel stressed even when something does not directly affect us. We are all people and we are all a part of the human race. Fear builds inside; stress sits in that small dark place. What can we do about it? How can we help our children cope?
Honor that fear and that stress. Know that this is what makes all of us human.
Many people feel better when they seek out ways to help fellow human beings.
Children are watching our reaction to the fear and stress being shown on television, being spoken at the soccer fields and discussed in the classroom. They want to see how we will handle these big moments. When they ask, and they will ask, what they should do or what is happening to the other people in these scary situations; we tell them (at an age appropriate level) that we are also concerned and that we are trying to decide how we can all help others who are struggling.
You are their go to person who can let them know, it’s okay to be afraid and anxious. Let them know we can turn these big fears into action. There are so many helpful ways to take action. Children can help brainstorm ways their family can help that fits with their family’s values.
Try looking up charities with older children, Putting together care packages with younger children. Draw cards, write letters and hug. Because it is big and ignoring these fears and worries shows children that we are ignoring their fears and worries and invalidating the importance of what they are seeing and hearing.
Remember to take moments for ourselves as caregivers to decompress and de-stress so we can be there for our children when they need us.
Finding joy in precious moments with our families will help us through these stressful times.
With much love and hope,
Kim Martinez, M.S.