Helping our children to cope in the covid-19 pandemic
The circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic can understandably be difficult to comprehend for many children, as it is already something which creates a feeling of uncertainty for adults too. Parents, carers and guardians may find themselves with the duty of explaining and comforting children about the current situation of the world. We know that this is something that can feel unsettling and there may not be a completely correct way of explaining to children or helping them to feel more calm about the situation. However, when we take steps to help them and when we acknowledge that the pandemic can be something which makes them feel helpless, it is a move in the right direction.
Letting children know that many people have experienced situations like this in their lives before is a good way of making children feel that they are not alone in their feelings of helplessness and uncertainty. Other diseases and circumstances around the world and in history have affected people too, and there have been similarly ambiguous ways of managing the situation. Making children feel as though this is not the first time something like this has happened in the world or in history will help them to understand that these things are a part of life and we can work together on coping with the circumstances.
We can remind children that instead of losing hope or feeling sad, we should pray to Allah and ask Him for help, as we know that indeed, He is the Best of Helpers. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“But Allah is your Protector, and He is the Best of Helpers.” (Qur’an 3:150)
Therefore, even though children and adults alike may be pushed to feel as though they have no control over the situation, this gives them the opportunity to become closer to Allah and realise that indeed He is the only one we can ultimately depend on. When children see that this is the way we are approaching the situation, they will also follow us, as children do learn by example.
We could also encourage children to talk about their feelings and worries with us so that they do not feel like they need to bottle them up. Talking about their emotions, thoughts and how they feel will help them to feel lighter and not so overwhelmed, as well as assure them that they have a caring and supportive environment. Another way to help them feel more positive and lift their mood is by keeping in touch with family and friends.
May Allah make it easy for us all – adults and children alike – to cope through the Covid-19 pandemic. May He enable us to bear strength and patience through the circumstances and make our efforts and hardships a means for us to gain a great reward. May He grant Shifaa to those among us who are suffering with any illness, and may He grant those who have passed away the highest rank of Jannah. Aameen.