March 3, 2020
Dear UAS Parents/Guardians:
The coronavirus (now officially named COVID-19) has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) and uncertainty around this can bring about fear and worry with our students. It is important to remember our children are looking toward us for reassurance and cues on how to react and respond.
Below are five strategies to build resilience and have reassuring conversations with your child.
- Stay Positive: Remember to keep calm. If you show anxiety or fear, your child will notice this and feel nervous and afraid. Changes to the environment and routines can create unease. Having calm, panic-free discussions can ease emotions around these changes. Check-in on how your child is feeling and acknowledge and address their worries rather than ignore them.
- Stick to the Facts: It is important to have thoughtful conversations regarding the coronavirus to distil anxiety, worry or fear. Look at the facts. Consider your child’s age, processing, and emotions to determine how to frame these conversations to ensure your child understands. Let them know that Singapore is doing everything they can, and you are up to date on current information. If they have additional questions, you can look to find the answers. Check-in on what your child is thinking and address their worries. Discuss that not everything they hear or see is real. It can also be comforting to be reminded that doctors around the world are looking for ways to address the coronavirus and highlight positive news as well (ex. 9 people have recovered and been discharged in Singapore).
- Consider Media Consumption: When looking online, consider the source and fact-check to prevent fake news, and think before you share. Be mindful of how much media you are checking and minimize how often you are reading stories. Try to keep a healthy balance (both online and offline) in your daily routines and lifestyle.
- Eliminate Stigma: It is important to be aware of how the coronavirus is explained to your children to avoid any person/group being blamed. In addition, to communicate that if someone has a fever or cough does not mean this person has the coronavirus.
- Boost Your Coping Strategies: When anyone has change or uncertainty this can create some levels of worry or anxiety. When this occurs, it is important to use positive coping strategies to manage those emotions. As every person is different, so too are our coping strategies. Regardless, it is important to practice positive strategies to calm down or modify our thinking to improve our outlook and overall well-being.
Coping strategies can include: positive self-talk, singing, dancing, reading, drawing, music, Netflix/movies, create a gratitude list, meditation, yoga, coloring, exercise, cooking/baking, talking to a friend or family member, or doing other activities that are fun or give you joy and make you feel good.
If you notice your child is still worried or anxious, be assured that this is a normal reaction, and continue conversations and providing care for your child. If you need additional support, please contact your child’s counselor.
KG – Feroza Syed: [email protected]
Elementary – Jane Al Sabah: [email protected]
Middle School – Layal Sleeq: [email protected]
High School 9th/10th Grade – Rhea Lester: [email protected]
High School 11th/12th Grade – Tashevia Glenn: [email protected]
UAS School Counseling Team