Kids & Covid

The other night after bedtime cuddles, I was reading my book. I heard a whimper and went back down the hall to his room.

“What’s wrong?” I asked? 

“I’m scared of dying of Coronavirus!” he said.

I cuddled him and assuaged his fears. He then asked: 

“Will my birthday be in lockdown this year?” 

In 2021 he turned seven at home without his friends and family to celebrate with. We had pancakes and played all day, but when you are seven this is a big deal. We spent some time planning this year’s festivities and he fell asleep reassured.

 Childhood, the teen years and the transition to adulthood changes in multiple ways for each generation. For this generation, living through a pandemic may have long lasting effects on all of our psyches. Covid has tested our relationships, our resilience, our capacity to self-regulate and adapt. Our children and teens are losing the rites of passage that mark the transitions. Whether it is leavers parties without any pandemic planning, school camps and excursions, wearing masks every day, or the loss of mums and dads on campus. All of these changes occur with a backdrop of fear. Fear has infiltrated many conversations at home and school and while kids may appear oblivious, they are indeed listening and feeling into what is going on.

The conversations have also become divisive. There’s pro and anti, there is a propagation of “them” and “us.” And for our little people they are surrounded by a lot more fear for their well being than is warranted. As parents, educators and friends, we have the opportunity to help – so we reached out to some professionals to seek their advice.

We begin with Yoga Space co-owner and Clinical Psychologist Rob Schutze. He offered this important reminder:

“As a parent or educator one of our primary responsibilities is that of emotional co-regulation. The Co – regulation requires we meet the young person in front of us with warmth and steadiness. When we are fearful, anxious and dysregulated we can not be steady for the young people in our lives. We need to ensure we put into place the scaffolding and supports so that we can self-regulate. That means getting on your mat or meditation cushion (we have online classes at times for parents), connecting with a psychologist, taking time out to be with friends. Our children are listening to the content and tone of how we speak. When fear and anxiety are primary, this will be reflected back to us often not in words, but by our children’s behavior.”

Music , Performing Arts Primary School teacher  (and Yoga Teacher!) Lisa Ray teacher shared this:

“Routine is important for children when things feel unstable; having the familiarity of routine can support children in knowing what to anticipate and expect in their daily life at a time when their world is so changeable.”

Our little one has asked for Tuesday taco night to make a return, so I feel this yearning Lisa speaks of. She also warned us to be careful of just how much we talk about Covid, especially in a fearful way and to:

“Be open to discussion with children about questions they have around the virus, vaccinations and school changes, answer their questions openly and truthfully but then change the topic to something that they are looking forward to in the near future to create a positive reframe for their worries.” 

Importantly Lisa who is also our Kids Yoga teacher recommends movement:

“Moving energy in a positive way was so beneficial for children in a pre-pandemic world but even more so now! Moving the body gives children a healthy way to focus their mind, keeps them active and is a way for them to just have fun!”

We also find being in nature helps our little one and teen immensely – that’s why our next Kids Yoga Course  is held in a park close to our Yoga School. 

Teenagers have missed out on many important events and opportunities to be together during the pandemic. High School teacher, Yoga Teacher Empowerment & Resilience Coach Tracey Anthony reminds us to not take our teens grumpy mood personally. She says:

“Speaking to teens, one of the biggest take-aways for me has been that they want to be seen and heard. We can help them to feel seen by validating their feelings. Let them know that you understand their frustrations and make them feel heard by holding space for them to let it out without placing our judgements upon them.”

This is important to remember because when we see young people struggling we want to help and give advice! But listening openly is often what they need. Also when we listen Tracy says we may create a “window of opportunity” to problem solve together. If you would like to register your interest in Tracy’s teen programs at Yoga Space just email us.

Young people need our support, respect and steadiness. I get on my yoga mat for my kids. I want to love them unconditionally and support them through all the stages of life. I want to have fun with them, to embrace playfulness and gentleness.

Practice allows me to hold space for them. I need to be steady in myself to help them trust this life, relationships and world.

To truly embrace the journey and remain open to love, curiosity and connection.

Finding it hard? Practice with me every Wednesday 8pm. Just a 30 minute practice to come back into your body, to quiet the mind and use your practice as medicine. Book the class here, or dive into our yoga library, with many short practices that you can fit into your day.

Jean x


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