When change happens…

  • Coping in difficult times as a family must be a priority.
    Coping in difficult times as a family must be a priority.

We all have experienced the changes during this year 2020 and COVID-19.

Those changes can bring emotional, mental and financial stress to you. The fast pace of change can affect the way you think, feel and process. It could be overwhelming to us, how does it feel to your children?

As humans we all appreciate some sort of “routine” in our lives. As adults we need time to process the changes and adapt as well our children need time to process all the information they are exposed to.

During these uncertain times, we all have faced challenges in our “routine.” Children are now in online school; as parents we are probably working for home, experienced a loss of hours or loss of a job and possibly struggling to make payments every month. Coping in difficult times as a family must be a priority. Below are some ideas to help our children to cope in times of change.

Warn them: If your children are old enough, have a brief conversation in advance like “my hours at work have been less” or “I have started to look for another job.” Tell them you are making all efforts and reinforce a positive attitude such as “I am online searching for opportunities.” Encourage them to be proactive with their school work.

Routine: During a big change like the one we are experiencing, try to keep some semblance of the same “routine.” Try to play and create a new way to talk about what worries your children during the “routine time.” Ask questions about their day and how they feel about it.

Answer questions: Depending on your child’s age, answering questions will be beneficial for them to process and cope during challenging financial times. They also will learn to be considerate about items that are a priority and you can teach how to adjust spending habits.

Patience: Strive for patience. Remember children will process changes differently. They have been away from school, classmates, friends and even relatives. Living in a different setting creates a different routine. Adding other topics might cause changes in their mood, attitude and habits. Be patient and explain in a level they can comprehend.

As a parent, find time to help your children deal with change. You might be facing hardships with work, employment or financial commitments, on the other hand they are facing the process of adapting to all that is happening around them.

Dedicate extra time, pay attention and practice patience toward your children. As you develop these skills, you are also helping them learn to cope and adapt during challenging times.  Tell them your love and care remains the same. Together you will face these uncertain times. Staying focused will help them cope with the stress, stay safe and prioritize. Remember these adjustments are temporary and remind them you are there for them.

Need help? Contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office. If you are interested in more of our programs, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County at 321-697-3000. For more information about our programs, visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/osceola.