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Mindful Moment with Mike: Talking to Kids About Coronavirus

Posted at 9:52 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 08:55:58-04

Talking to kids can be difficult, but now perhaps more than ever, it's necessary to ensure they're doing okay.

Right now there is a lot of information going around about coronavirus, which can cause stress and anxiety.

Day three of working from home and we do want to talk about how we can help kids cope with this whole pandemic.

2 Works for You's Mike Brooks was at a local store trying to get some hamburger meat and there is no hamburger meat around. A young family next to him had some kids who were really worried about what was going on, and they didn't know if they were going to eat.

So he talked to an expert, Matthew Crum the Director of Calm Center, who says we need to use top down coping skills for kids who are older and can verbalize.

The top part of your brain is rational thinking, while the bottom part is where all the stress and all of the anxiety lives.

He says in order to get young adults and older kids to talk about their feelings and their worries, use top down coping skills.

"Things that really work well with teens are doing things like audio and visual ones. So if you've got good family photos, if you're got pictures of friends that you like, so a little slide show. You might want to do a little slide show of friends. You might want to do a little slide show of family," says Crum. "We need to work with the kids, with what works for them. Instead of dictating we need to talk with them about ideas and find out what works for them. They may have ideas of things that relax them, but they don't necessarily think of them as coping skills. So talk to them and ask them when is the last time you were relaxed, when is the last time you were feeling calm, and what was going on before hand."

Now the other side of the coin is bottom to top coping skills. These work really well with younger kids who can't talk themselves into a relaxed state.

But exactly how do they work? We'll let you know coming up in my next Mindful Moment with Mike, so stay tuned to 2 Works for You.

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