Tips for parents of young children during the coronavirus pandemic

by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

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child playing doctor with mother


This is a difficult time for all of us, and especially for families who are required to stay in their homes. You may be feeling frightened and overwhelmed by events beyond your control, without having any idea how long this situation will last. Perhaps you are trying to work from home while also caring for your children. Or maybe you have lost your job and source of income, and wonder how you will pay your rent or your grocery bill. You may feel isolated, lonely, or depressed without your usual social contacts. Perhaps you are worried about an ill friend or family member, or maybe you are grieving someone who has died. Perhaps you yourself are sick.

To make matters worse, your children will also feel stressed and worried. They will miss seeing their friends and teachers, going to the playground, or playing sports. If they are doing online schooling at home, they may feel frustrated or confused with the unfamiliar format. In addition, they will pick up on your stress, which will only make them feel more frightened and insecure. The following lists describe some behaviors to expect in your children and suggestions of how you can help them. Begin by taking care of yourself. The less stressed you feel, the easier it will be to help your children through this difficult time.

Take care of yourself

Behaviors to expect in children

How parents can help

If a family member or close friend has died


About Aletha Solter

Aletha Solter, PhD, is a developmental psychologist, international speaker, consultant, and founder of the Aware Parenting Institute. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline.

Aware Parenting is a philosophy of child-rearing that has the potential to change the world. Based on cutting-edge research and insights in child development, Aware Parenting questions most traditional assumptions about raising children, and proposes a new approach that can profoundly shift a parent's relationship with his or her child. Parents who follow this approach raise children who are bright, compassionate, competent, nonviolent, and drug free.

For more information about helping children cope with stress and heal from trauma, see Aletha Solter's books, Healing Your Traumatized Child, Tears and Tantrums, and Attachment Play

Healing Your Traumatized Child
Tears and Tantrums
Attachment play

This page was last updated on July 25, 2022. Copyright © 2022 by Aletha Solter. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations), without written permission from Aletha Solter, with the exception of printing copies for personal use and for free distribution to parents.

Warning/Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. When children display emotional, behavioral, or medical problems of any kind, parents are strongly advised to seek professional advice and treatment. Aletha Solter, The Aware Parenting Institute, and Shining Star Press shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in this article.