I’m not sure about you, but I was hoping 2021 was going to be the fresh start we all needed and that Coronavirus was fading into the background. But here we are again in full lockdown with the schools closed. I don’t know about you but I must admit I am feeling anxious by it all, it doesn’t help that I have had to close Gemerations Photography again, which means I have more time on my hands to overthink.
If your feeling anxious as an adult, your child or children could be feeling this too. In my 12 years working in the childcare sector, before becoming a child and family photographer at Gemerations Photography, I experienced children of all ages suffering with anxiety and this was without them having a national pandemic to contend with. As a parent, you are in the best position to be able to support your child with any feelings of anxiety.
It's no wonder children are anxious about the current lockdown, which came without much notice. They were looking forward to seeing their friends in School after the Christmas holidays, now they don’t know when they will see them again. Now home schooling is starting again, with its own set of obstacles. It’s a lot for them to deal with, so it is likely they will be worried to some extent.
How will I know if my child has Anxiety?
These are some of signs to look out for:
Being clingy, tearful or irritable
Sleeping difficulties (struggling to get to sleep / waking in the night / bad dreams)
A lack of confidence to do or try new things
Lack of concentration
Feelings of worry / negativity
Stomach ache / headaches / feeling sick
How do I help a child with Anxiety ?
Talk to your child about their feelings / emotions this will help to give them reassurance about what they are feeling and why (you could share you own experiences / feelings here). If they struggle with naming their feelings you could make or download some emotion face cards for them to use. You could even make a worry jar / box where they can write down or draw a worry and then place it inside, and then you can discuss these at a later point in the day or week.
Give lots of praise and positive encouragement when they do something that you know is difficult or hard for them.
You might also find books or games which cover the specific worries or feelings your child is having and this could be a way to explore them. Or you could join in play with your child and see if you can use a toy/puppet to talk about feelings, which might encourage your child to talk about their own feelings.
Try to implement a daily home routine to give your child reassurance and structure so they know what is happening next and that there are no unplanned changes. Make sure you keep key things at the same time (meals, breaks, outdoor time, bed time).
Limit your child’s exposure to watching or reading the News/Social Media (as their portrayal of Covid-19 can cause panic and fear in your child).
Go outside on a daily basis to give them a break from work and screens.
It can be helpful to create a calm spot/area in your house, somewhere your child can go and sit in to get away from everything if things get too much for them (a quiet area with a comfortable chair and a box of calming toys) .
Some children benefit from relaxation techniques or breathing exercises to help them when they are feeling anxious, this is an activity you could do directly with your child.
Other Sources of Support on Anxiety
A Booklet to download on anxiety in children
How to Talk to Children about COVID-19
The Importance of Nature and the Great Outdoors in Creating a Sense of Calm
Even though we are still in Lockdown, it’s important to give your children regular breaks in the day from home schooling. Getting outdoors in the fresh air will help their emotional and physical wellbeing. Daily exercise is permitted so use that time to get your child outside to help create a sense of calm and freedom. Getting outside gives children a break from screen time and gets them out of the same space where they are spending the majority of their day. You can let your children engage in their own play and exploration outdoors or you could even set up activities for them e.g. create a nature treasure hunt with specific things for them to look for and collect on their walk, and then use these items in a craft activity.
Depending on your location I have written some Blogs on some of my favourite outdoor walks in Norfolk:
You can also find more outdoor walks in Norfolk in your local area on this wonderful site:
Planning for the future
Now there are two Covid vaccinations in circulation, I am thinking positive and I'm looking forward to a time when I can spend time freely with family and friends again. What came out of the first lockdown, was a rise in Family Photoshoots at Gemerations Photography.
Theres nothing better than celebrating getting your family back together by capturing the moments in photographs to treasure forever. The happiness, love and laughter makes the perfect moment to capture and will remind you of everything that you have overcome together to get to this point.
If you would like to find out more on my studio Family Photoshoots click here.
I hope this blog has given you some ideas and resources in helping your child to managing their anxiety. If you have any of your own tips, I’d love to share them with my readers and clients, let me know on either of my social media platforms: Instagram or Facebook
Remember everyone is on their own personal journey, but together united we will get through the storm.
Written by G.Hampton 07/01/2021
Copyright © 2021 by Gemerations Photography