With routines disrupted, schools closed, and playdates temporarily put on hold, the global coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on daily life and children are, of course, also feeling the effects of the ongoing crisis. In an effort to help little ones, child development and parenting expert Denise Daniels has partnered with the Yale Child Study Center-Scholastic Collaborative for Child and Family Resilience to provide families and teachers with the First Aid For Feelings workbook, a free resource with more than 10 pages of activities available to download today.
While we like to think that children can be sheltered from troubling news, health officials say reports of infectious diseases, like the novel coronavirus, can be stressful for anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children." That's why Daniels, a children's author and child development expert who founded the National Childhood Grief Institute, has developed a workbook geared toward helping parents better manage their children's social and emotional development and well-being during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
"The emotional support offered through the workbook will provide resilience strategies that will serve children beyond the immediate crisis," Daniels tells Romper. "The activities in the workbook will help children learn to cope with the everyday challenges of growing up and will help equip them with the emotional tools for a happy, healthy, and successful life."
In First Aid for Feelings: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic parents and teachers will find simple strategies to help kids handle their emotions during the pandemic and remain positive while having to practice social distancing. With it, parents, caretakers, and teachers can craft teachable moments for kids from the ongoing pandemic.
Using a team of five cartoon detectives named The Moodsters, the workbook also works to enhance communication among parents and children by encouraging kids to express any thoughts, feelings, or questions they may be having about what's currently going on. For example, one page in the workbook called "What To Do When I Feel Afraid" provides solutions to help little ones feel better.
For teachers, the workbook can be used as a resource for helping students develop social emotional learning (SEL) skills via remote learning. Ultimately, the workbook was designed to help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety that children may be having as a result of the ongoing public health crisis. And its authors hope to provide families with some sense of control during these rapidly changing times.
Parents and teachers can download First Aid for Feelings: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic for free from Scholastic's website starting today, Friday, April 10.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.