Resources to Support Children’s Social-Emotional Health During COVID-19

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It’s been almost three months since NC schools closed due to COVID-19, and they will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Most young children under five have also been at home and out of formal early learning environments. Extended time off—away from friends, teachers and family routines–can lead to long-standing behavioral, emotional and learning challenges for young children. This is especially true for children who are also experiencing or have experienced other adversity such as unsafe home environments, food insecurity and racism. Promoting protective factors, or buffers, like nurturing parent-child relationships and community supports, can help to protect children against the long-term impact of trauma resulting from COVID-19.

Parents and other caring adults have an important role to play in buffering and addressing children’s social-emotional needs during this time. Child Trends shared the following recommendations to support and protect children’s social-emotional well-being during the pandemic (click here to learn more about each area):

  • Understand that children’s reactions to the pandemic may vary. 
  • Ensure the presence of a sensitive and responsive caregiver. 
  • Social distancing should not mean social isolation—maintain social connectedness.
  • Provide age-appropriate information. 
  • Create a safe physical and emotional environment by practicing the 3 R’s: Reassurance, Routines, and Regulation.
  • Keep children busy. 
  • Increase children’s self-efficacy.
  • Create opportunities for caregivers to take care of themselves.
  • Seek professional help if children show signs of trauma that do not resolve relatively quickly.
  • Emphasize strengths, hope, and positivity.

Some additional social-emotional health resources for families, educators and providers are included below: 

Do you have a resource to share that supports young children’s social-emotional health during COVID-19? Email us and we’ll add it to the list.