Riding the Coronacoaster: resilience tips for children

Strategies to help families support their children during the pandemic. 

The spread of COVID-19 in Victoria has turned our lives upside down in the past 18 months, leaving families to navigate the highs and lows of a new reality combining remote learning, working from home and increased family time. 

Even with fewer restrictions on the horizon, the pandemic is causing ongoing disruption, anxiety and frustration to children and young people. 

One of Australia’s leading child and adolescent psychologists, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, recently joined us for a Boroondara Families webinar called Riding the Coronacoaster. More than 900 parents and caregivers across Boroondara registered for the online event, which highlighted the impact of ongoing lockdowns on young people and strategies we can use to manage their mental wellbeing at home. 

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg’s tips to support your child during the pandemic

  • Connect via social media: Encourage your child to talk to friends and family daily and organise virtual get-togethers, if they are not able to catch up outdoors. 
  • Check-in regularly: Let your child know they’re not alone in feeling deflated and frustrated. Talking things through can help them feel calmer. If they don’t feel like talking to someone they know, suggest support lines they can contact. 
  • Keep regular routines: Encourage your child to wake up at the same time every day, move their body outdoors and take a lunchbreak. 
  • Schedule uninterrupted time: Switch off all distractions, such as TV, games consoles or iPads, for set periods in the day. 
  • Focus on what you can control: Get enough sleep, exercise daily, eat healthy food, limit social media and news bulletins. 
  • Have a study schedule: Provide a separate learning space for teenagers facing exams, use a timer for study periods, celebrate the wins, and prepare lunch and recess snacks. 
  • Remain optimistic: Let your child know that vaccination rates are increasing, and there will be a time when we have fewer restrictions.
A child using a tablet