Tricks to Becoming More Confident - Caring Heart Counseling (1) 10 Sep 2021

BY: admin

Counseling

Tricks to Becoming More Confident

Tricks to Becoming More Confident

When it comes to confidence, the old adage, “Fake it till you make it,” may actually work. Confidence is not feeling 100-percent right or certain all the time. In fact, some of the most confident people are those who are willing to try new things, make mistakes and persevere in the wake of failure. They don’t see setbacks as signs of their worthlessness. Instead, they tackle challenges head-on and are eager to learn from their shortcomings.

If you want to become more confident, there are a few tricks you can try to begin feeling more empowered today. If confidence has been a struggle throughout your life, you may consider reaching out to one of our Denver, CO therapists. Together, we can address where your lack of confidence comes from and start developing strategies to build greater self-esteem.

Strike a Power Pose

Did you know that body posture plays a major role in how you feel as well as how others perceive you? Psychologist Amy Cuddy revealed in a TedTalk that standing in an empowering pose can boost your feelings of confidence. You may feel awkward or a little silly at first, but the pay-off is worth it. You’ll find yourself feeling more confident each time you try this exercise.

  1. • Stand in front of a mirror and position your feet roughly shoulders-width apart.
  2. • Put your hands on your hips, and raise your head.
  3. • Lower your shoulders to release any tension, and hold your gaze.
  4. • Hold for 2 minutes.

Identify Your Struggles

Remember Personal Achievements
Our emotions aren’t limited to the present. Recalling previous moments we stood up for ourselves or felt empowered can make us feel more confident here and now. You may think about a time you gave a great presentation at work or overcame your fear of heights by getting on a roller coaster. Whatever the situation, reflect on your strengths and know that you still have that within you.

Make Eye Contact

Holding eye contact in conversation can make a person appear much more confident. Women who struggle with confidence issues may find themselves assuming a closed-off posture, avoiding eye contact and limiting their self-expression. If you find yourself doing this, open up by uncrossing your arms, straightening your back and looking people in the eyes when you’re talking to them. Just make sure you don’t get so focused on holding eye contact that it becomes awkward.

Practice Self-Care

Do some grooming to make yourself feel better. When you think you look good, you naturally feel more confident engaging with others. Whether you decide to get your eyebrows waxed or paint your nails, small gestures of self-care can give you a much-needed confidence boost. The secret is to focus on qualities you find desirable about yourself. It’s not about appealing to others but rather looking good in your eyes on your own terms.

Swap Comparisons With Compliments

People you want to emulate do not have to make you feel bad about yourself. Instead of seeing a picture of someone and thinking, “She looks so good, I wish I could be like that,” or “She speaks her mind so freely, I could never do that,” flip the script. Identify elements of others that you admire, and then encourage yourself to follow suit. Complimenting others makes us feel better about ourselves. You don’t have to dole out insincere sentiments, just take a note of when you’re feeling jealous or comparing and mentally praise someone instead.

You can also practice this tip on yourself. Rather than looking in the mirror and wishing you had a better body, compliment your features. Your appearance is what you make of it, and perception is the largest factor that influences our self-confidence.

How Confidence Issues Hold Women Back - Caring Heart Counseling (1) 09 Sep 2021

BY: admin

Counseling

How Confidence Issues Hold Women Back

How Confidence Issues Hold Women Back

Aggressive. Overbearing. Bossy. Controlling. All these terms have been used to bring down confident women and make them feel inferior to their male peers. In the workplace, women have been afraid to speak up for fear of stepping out of line. This often comes at the expense of receiving credit for their ideas, earning promotions they deserve and being fully recognized for their talent and skills.

In their personal life, women who struggle with confidence may routinely settle for partners who treat them poorly or even lower their expectations to avoid being rejected. Self-confidence affects everyone differently, but the unique struggle that women face can have a major impact on their life and happiness.

Why Do Women Have Low Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem affects everyone regardless of their sex or gender identity. But women have been historically plagued by greater struggles with their self-image and confidence than their male counterparts. Part of this may stem from a cultural fixation on the female body and role. Rather than being encouraged to express themselves freely and live however they want, women have been told what is “proper” or “ladylike” and encouraged to follow a linear path. In many cultures, the idea that being desirable is more important than being self-realized and happy still persists.

There is also a stigma that all women have low self-esteem, which may perpetuate a problem that doesn’t even exist. Even this belief can cause women to feel like they are less confident than they really are.

What Does Your Confidence Look Like?

Rather than grouping all women together, individual counseling approaches the person for who they are. While being a woman influences your experiences, your confidence is entirely based on what you think and feel about yourself. Factors such as your relationships, family life, upbringing and current belief systems all play a role in how confident you feel you can be.

Some women latch onto the idea of having low self-esteem and keep themselves small. This can be a useful defense mechanism for someone who has anxiety or does not know how to assert themselves. Rather than feeling the constant stress and struggle, they can shrink into the background and avoid tension.

Of course, this never leads to long-term happiness. The good news is that even a lifetime of confidence issues can be helped through therapy.

Self-Esteem Redefined

Are you tired of being told how you should feel, or what confidence is supposed to look like? You do not have to live life by anyone’s standards but your own. If that sounds too good to be true, therapy could help you realize your full potential.

Through personal counseling, you can begin to unravel your self-confidence struggles and replace them with more affirming thoughts. Building genuine confidence, but anyone can do it if they are willing to believe in themselves. Learning how to persevere through your own self-doubt is one of the greatest achievements you can discover through therapy.

Find a Denver therapist near you by contacting us at Caring Heart Counseling. We are always here to listen and help you work toward becoming the greatest version of yourself
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5 Tips for Finding the Right Counselor for You - Caring Heart Counseling 01 Aug 2021

BY: admin

Counseling

5 Tips for Finding the Right Counselor for You

5 Tips for Finding the Right Counselor for You

Do you know the most important element of success in therapy? Your relationship with your therapist. Individual counseling cannot work if you don’t trust who you’re talking to or if a counselor makes you feel judged, embarrassed or even ashamed of your struggles.

How you feel about your therapist determines how much you’re willing to share and discuss. If you don’t feel like you can trust them or feel judged, you’re more likely to withhold your deepest thoughts, lie about your feelings or just go silent during your sessions. You deserve someone you can build a therapeutic alliance with. That is a bond that you rely on to help you reach your shared goals and work together to achieve positive outcomes.

We believe that everyone deserves to find the perfect match when it comes to counseling, so we have designed this list of five tips to help you find a therapist.

Think About Their Core Characteristics

You may have an idea in your head of what a good therapist is like. Ask yourself what qualities they have that would make you feel most comfortable. This may include:

  • Gender – Are you more at ease with a man or a woman?
  • Age – Do you want to work with someone closer to your age or more experienced?
  • Religious background – Do you want a therapist who shares your religion and may be able to integrate that into therapy?
  • Specializations – Do you want a therapist who has expertise in a certain type of therapy or treating a particular condition?

Identify Your Struggles

Why do you want to go to therapy? If you are suffering from symptoms of depression, struggle with substance abuse or need support as an LGBTQ person, there are different forms of therapy appropriate for your problems. Of course, you don’t need a clinical problem to see a counselor. Individual counseling helps people with all sorts of issues, including breakups, death and grief, insecurity, loneliness and more. What is most important is knowing exactly why you want to see a counselor; this helps you express yourself more clearly and find someone who can help you reach your goal.

Research Every Therapist

You may come across a therapist in an online directory whose biography seems promising. But before you book a session, you should Google their name and read their website and/or social media profiles to see if they are someone you would be comfortable working with.

Ask About a Consultation

A good therapist will be happy to answer questions before booking a session. Send an email or schedule a phone call to talk to a therapist or mental health clinic that interests you. Let them know what you are looking for, what you need and ask if they would be willing to answer. You should ask about their background, their therapeutic philosophy and their experience helping people with your struggles.

Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve

You are never forced to stay with a therapist who you are uncomfortable with. You also don’t have to remain in therapy with a counselor who you don’t feel understands you or truly helps you. While you should always bring up any challenges or issues with a therapist first, it is also okay to end the relationship and look for someone who you feel better with. Remember, therapy is for you, so be open about your needs and don’t be afraid to voice your needs.

Learn More About Therapy Today

Contact us at Caring Heart Counseling to get help finding a therapist in Denver, Colorado. We are happy to answer your questions about therapy, insurance and more. Just let us know why you’re looking for counseling, and we’ll help you take the next steps in booking a session and working with one of our therapists.

The Benefits of Talk Therapy 01 Aug 2021

BY: admin

Counseling

The Benefits of Talk Therapy

The Benefits of Talk Therapy

When entering therapy for the first time, it’s not strange to wonder what you’ll get out of it. For someone who doesn’t know what therapy is truly about, they may feel like they’re simply going to pay someone to listen to their problems or be told how to resolve them. But talk therapy, also known as individual counseling, is much more than that. It is a place for you to feel safe, understood and heard by a professional, compassionate counselor who wants to help you thrive.

Overcoming any problem, whether it’s mental illness or general life hardships, requires resilience, patience and a belief that things can get better. Metal health problems, like trauma and depression, can warp your perception and cause you to rely on self-destructive or self-defeating behaviors that keep you stuck exactly where you don’t want to be.

By going to therapy, you can experience some major benefits that will gradually help you achieve your goals and live a life that you are proud of. Below are some of the benefits of talk therapy you could experience.

Better Understanding of Emotions and Their Causes

One of the major roles of a therapist is to help their clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves. You learn how to accept your emotions, even ones you are ashamed of or pained by, and how to cope with them. Getting to the root of their cause, as well as actions they’re provoking, can help you free yourself from unhealthy patterns.

For people who are dealing with loneliness from working from home, talk therapy is a wonderful opportunity to work through the anxiety, stress and isolation in a private, supportive environment.

Greater Feeling of Self-Control

When you know how to listen to and respect yourself, you are less likely to act impulsively or do things you regret. Therapy helps you develop coping strategies and skills that make you more confident in your ability to respond healthily to your problems.

Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem

As you work through your emotions and start to see your strengths, you begin to feel more confident. Even if you have spent your entire life with low self-esteem, you are filled with amazing qualities and potential that talk therapy can help you realize. Many people who are fighting with loneliness feel as though they aren’t worth loving or being friends with; therapy helps you see the good in yourself and recognize your value.

Improved Conflict Resolution Skills

People who struggle to make and keep friends or have issues in their relationships can benefit from talk therapy. You will learn how to become less reactive, less defensive and more empathetic through active listening. You’ll also learn how to communicate your own thoughts, feelings and needs in a way that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself.

Better Boundaries and More Rewarding Social Interactions

Boundaries help you navigate your way through the world and cultivate the right relationships for you. Many people who come to therapy have no boundaries and don’t know how to develop or assert them. Talk therapy can teach you how to make healthy boundaries and use them to form and maintain more meaningful connections.

Learn More About Talk Therapy Today

Caring Heart Counseling offers individual counseling for children, teens and adults in Denver, Colorado. Our talk therapy services can help you overcome a variety of challenges. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. If you feel like we would be a good match, we can help you book an appointment and pair you with the best fit from our team of supportive counselors.

31 Dec 2020

BY: admin

Counseling

How to Maintain Your New Year’s Resolution

How to Maintain Your New Year’s Resolution

Resolutions are a fun New Year’s tradition, but they can also cause a lot of pressure and disappointment. The top resolutions each year are focused on wellness, including exercising more, losing weight and eating a healthier diet. In 2019, a survey found that only 7 percent of people stuck to their original resolutions while 19 percent managed to fulfill some but not all of their plans.

To give yourself the best headstart to 2021, here are a few therapist-approved tips to making and sticking to good New Year’s resolutions.

Tell Your Therapist

Your therapist helps you stay accountable and make meaningful changes in your life. As you prepare to embark on a new year, voicing your desires and plans to your therapist can help shape the course of your time together. They can help you recognize reasons these resolutions are important to you which serve as motivation when times are though. They can also help you come up with action plans to stay on track and make short-term, fulfilling goals that gradually become good habits.

Choose One Meaningful Change

Rather than burdening yourself with a long list of resolutions, pick one that you are truly passionate about and most likely to achieve. When you start to reshape one aspect of your life, others tend to follow suit. If your resolution is to work out more, for example, then you will find that it can also help you be more social and self-disciplined.

If you aren’t sure which resolution to choose, use a journal to write down the pros and cons of each. What is your main reason for pursuing each one, and what are some steps you could immediately take to start fulfilling them?

Avoid Being Ambiguous

Saying you want to “lose weight” or “eat better” sounds wonderful but can be hard to put into practice. If your overall resolution is too broad, find a way to break it into more concrete goals. Someone who wants to use social media less, for example, might decide to not use the internet an hour before bed rather than avoiding it entirely.

Plan Ahead

Waiting until the last minute to declare your resolution can make it harder to follow through with it on January 1st. Avoid putting pressure on yourself to transform right away; instead, develop a plan that lasts the whole year and gives you plenty of room to grow and learn from any setbacks.

Smaller steps lead to the most lasting changes; a successful resolution strategy has a clear end-goal supported by smaller, actionable steps. By getting a headstart on planning, you also have time to come up with potential solutions to any obstacles that you might face.

Have you tried to carry out New Year’s resolutions in the past but struggled to stay consistent? A therapist can help you set goals that work for you and bring you a sense of achievement and inspiration instead of stress and anxiety. Contact Caring Heart Counseling to learn more about our services or request an appointment.

Counselors that Take Medicaid in Denver - Caring Heart Counseling (1) 29 Nov 2020

BY: admin

Counseling

Counselors that Take Medicaid in Denver

Counselors that Take Medicaid in Denver

One of the greatest barriers to treatment for people who need mental health counseling is price. Even with health insurance, many counseling services are not fully covered or must be paid for out of pocket. No one should ever have to suffer from mental health problems because of money; at Caring Heart Counseling, we accept a variety of insurance providers and Medicaid to make therapy as affordable and accessible as possible.

Quality Counseling Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

Some people are concerned that if a therapist offers free or discounted services, then they are not as qualified as more expensive counselors. This is simply not true. Many therapists and clinics recognize the gap between people who need therapy and those who can afford it. As a result, they incorporate lower services, sliding payment scales and Medicaid coverage into their practices.

The evolving mental health conversation has raised greater awareness about the diverse population in need of therapy. In the past, counseling was, like many help services, only accessible by those who had the privilege of financial ability. However, people who are on Medicaid and come from low-income backgrounds tend to suffer more from mental illness and personal struggles. The gap between people who need counseling the most and those who could routinely access it is still too great, and we are striving to change that.

How Counseling Can Help You?

Medicaid will not change the type of services you receive from your therapist. Every counselor who accepts Medicaid and offers affordable therapy provides the same level of care to all their clients. You will be able to relax in a safe space, knowing that your personal feelings, thoughts and problems are all respected and valid to your therapist.

Counseling can help you do everything from address mental illness symptoms to build life skills like stress control and time management. You do not need to be suffering from a mental illness to benefit from therapy. Counselors that take Medicaid in Denver offer a variety of services, including:

Contact Us to Learn More

If you are on Medicaid and interested in working with a licensed counselor in Denver, contact us today. We are always happy to answer any of your questions about counseling, payment and more. Contact Caring Heart Counseling to get started.

06 Jul 2020

BY: admin

Counseling

Online Counseling for the LGBTQ+ Community

Online Counseling for the LGBTQ+ Community

The LGBTQ+ community experiences mental health problems more frequently than other populations. Anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia and many other symptoms are common, but there is a fear among people who need counseling that their therapist may not understand their experiences or approve of their identity. Online counseling during COVID-19 has made finding professional support easier and more convenient than ever; at Caring Heart Counseling, we offer virtual therapy to everyone, including affirming LGBTQ+ care.

What LGBTQ+ Therapy Looks Like
A therapist must understand that everyone’s culture, background and individualized experiences make their mental health unique. No two people experience depression the same, and it’s especially important for us to recognize the unique factors that impact an LGBTQ+ person’s mental well-being.

There is often what is known as a “dual stigma” among people in the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to being judged for their sexuality and/or gender identity, people also face the fear of ridicule for their mental health struggles. There are numerous challenges and emotionally charged experiences that arise as a LGBTQ+ person comes out to their family and learns to own their identity; online counseling can help you build a support system and begin to find strength as you work through your own difficulties.

Caring Heart Counseling does not see your LGBTQ+ experience as something to gloss over; we want to help you work through your thoughts and emotions surrounding your sexuality, gender and identity. Whether you are questioning or unsure how to accept yourself despite identifying as LGBTQ+, we are here to listen and support you.

Affirming, Non-Judgemental Counseling
Therapy is a safe space for everyone to share their thoughts and feelings. It can be especially intimidating for an LGBTQ+ person to reach out because they worry their therapist may not accept them for who they are. This is a valid concern, but we can assure you that every therapist at Caring Heart Counseling accepts, respects and affirms your identity.

It is our job to help you not only work through your unique LGBTQ+ experiences but also cultivate a life you find meaningful. This means finding ways to align your truest self with your highest potential, embracing your strengths, overcoming weaknesses and learning how to take power back from your worst experiences.

Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, body image or just need someone to talk to, we are here to listen. Online therapy means you can access one of our counselors whenever you need them; we can arrange a phone call or set up an appointment via email. Our flexible hours and a variety of platforms make it easy for you to schedule counseling at a time that is most convenient and comfortable for you.

If you would like to learn more, please reach out and contact us today. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about therapy and our LGBTQ+ counseling services. Together, we can determine whether Caring Heart is right for you and match you with the counselor best suited to your personality and needs.

Caring Heart Counseling - Can Racial Trauma Cause PTSD (1) 01 Jul 2020

BY: admin

Counseling

Can Racial Trauma Cause PTSD?

Can Racial Trauma Cause PTSD?

Following the murder of George Floyd, America has been forced to address a long-standing history of racial injustice and discrimination. Many people have only just begun to listen, but the Black community has been speaking up for years. Now, they have a greater voice than ever, but with that attention comes an incredible amount of pressure. Emotional trauma from racial discrimination is finally being acknowledged, but where do you go to start healing?

Being Black in America is a stressful, anxiety-ridden experience on my fronts; parents fear for their children’s lives every day, and individuals experience shaming, ridicule and discrimination throughout life. Racial-based trauma can lead to a variety of mental health symptoms and conditions including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What is Racial Trauma?
Black and POCI people have faced systemic injustices for centuries; cultural conditioning has resulted in hundreds of microaggressions that lead to chronic stress and anxiety. From fear of being pulled over and arrested unjustly or facing workplace discrimination or harassment, Black people have always been forced to live differently.

For LBGTQ+ and transgender Black people, the rate of discrimination and targeted attacks is even worse. In virtually every aspect of their life, ethnicity plays a factor in how they are treated, perceived and ultimately valued.

The result of this ongoing trauma includes physical and psychological effects, many of which share symptoms with PTSD. Hypervigilance, avoidance, anxiety attacks, flashbacks and nightmares are all common experiences that have been silenced for far too long.

At Caring Heart Counseling, we are committed to helping members of the Black community heal and grow from their experiences; we strive to use our own skills and platform as a voice for the underserved, and we want to not only help you overcome racial trauma but transform your pain into a powerful testament to the BLM movement.

How We Treat Racial Trauma
Social and cultural context are two of the most important aspects of addressing racial trauma. Even if you do not meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, your experiences are real, valid and deserve to be acknowledged for exactly what they are. We are here for you, and we want to help you find strength in your story.

Education is the cornerstone of our own treatment; we know that we have to learn and continue to amplify Black voices to become more understanding and empathetic therapists. Our entire team is committed to continually providing expert therapy and counseling to members of the Black community.

Together, we can work through this historic movement while resolving pain from the past and building hope for the future. Together, we will stand with you now and in the future with unlimited support, compassion and guidance.

Caring Heart Counseling - Blog - Telecounseling for Teens in Denver (1) 21 Apr 2020

BY: admin

Counseling / Virtual Counseling

Telecounseling for Teens in Denver

Telecounseling for Teens in Denver

Life as a teenager is tough. As they are beginning to develop their own values and figure out their identities, teenagers face a tremendous deal of stress during the final years of childhood. Many are already making decisions that will impact their future for years to come, which naturally comes with a great deal of stress that can trigger anxiety and depression. Adolescence is also the onset period for many mental illnesses.

Adolescent counseling can provide support and guidance to teens even amidst social distancing and the coronavirus.
Common Reasons Teens Attend Counseling

Many adolescents feel like they’re being “forced” to go to therapy by their parents who “think something is wrong with me.” But therapy is not a place designed to fix anyone, because no one is broken. People all have their own unique struggles, but we believe that our experiences are just that. They do not define us no matter how much they may impact us.

Teens can benefit from counseling if they are struggling to stay motivated in school, experiencing conflict at home or going through a difficult time. Trauma, anxiety and depression are common mental health conditions that teenagers can overcome with the help of a licensed professional.

The earlier a teenager gets help for whatever they’re going through, the greater the chance of a long-lasting recovery. Far too many people stay trapped in the shadows of stigma, longing for help but too afraid to get it. Whether you are a concerned parent or a teenager yourself, there is no shame in getting help. Counseling, either in person or online, can provide the tools and support necessary to heal and grow.

Signs Your Teenager Needs Counseling

Every parent worries about their child, but how do you know when your problems warrant professional help? Generally, when an issue is beyond your scope of understanding or has begun to cause serious disruptions to your family life or teen’s ability to function, it’s a good idea to speak with a counselor.

Certain behaviors pose a significant threat to your teen’s well-being, and they may indicate underlying mental health issues. For example:

  • Substance abuse
  • Angry outbursts
  • Criminal activity
  • Avoiding friends and family/sudden change in friends
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Isolated, withdrawn attitude
  • Dramatic changes in personality and behavior
  • Talking or thinking often about death/self-harm

The later teenage years also mark the onset of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Having an honest discussion with your teenager about any concerns you have can help them feel more comfortable opening up. Sometimes, teens just need to be reminded that people do care about them and want to listen.

Ways to Help a Struggling Teenager

You might often feel like your teenager is from an entirely different universe when they speak. Parents often wonder, “Was I like that to my parents?” when they begin to struggle to have even basic conversations with their adolescents. Teenagers are not speaking in code or generally going out of their way to be distant; they might be embarrassed or ashamed of what they’re feeling or even too afraid to confront it through a conversation.

Respect Boundaries

The best thing you can do as a parent is to be fully present without being overly persistent. The harder you push, the farther your teen will pull away. Offer to do activities with them that they enjoy. Even something as simple as eating dinner together or watching a movie can have an impact on a teen’s sense of support and security.

Don’t invade their privacy without any necessary reason to do so, but keep an eye on any concerning behaviors. You may want to check their social media accounts or internet history if you worry they might be engaging with harmful content or talking to strangers.

Keep Communication Focused on the Positive

Most importantly, let your child know that you love them and want to hear what they have to say. Teenagers often worry their parents will judge them, argue with them or even hate them for voicing their true feelings. Although you may not always like what you hear, you must respond to your teenager’s emotions with empathy and understanding. Use affirming statements during conversation such as, “That sounds really hard,” and “Thank you for sharing this with me.”

If you bring up the subject of therapy, let them know that getting professional help is a good thing, not a sign of failure or weakness. Ultimately, therapy is for your teenager to receive help and provide a safe space to disclose whatever they’re going through without fear of judgment. Therapy is a resource, not a punishment. It should never be leveraged as something needed to “fix” them or correct their behavior.

Telecounseling for Teens

We offer online therapy for teens with licensed counselors in the state of Colorado. Talking to a therapist online can be a good stepping stone for many teens, and it’s the best way to get support even during the coronavirus pandemic. To learn more about our services or to request an appointment, please click here.

How to Talk to Your Children About the Coronavirus - CHC Blog (1) 09 Apr 2020

BY: admin

Counseling

How to Talk to Your Children About the Coronavirus

How to Talk to Your Children About the Coronavirus

Talking to children about certain subjects is always a challenge, but for most cases, we have time to plan and prepare. The new coronavirus has thrown everything for a loop, and many parents are left grappling with all the sudden changes. During this hectic and uncertain period, it can be easy to get so caught up in our own anxieties that we forget to include our children.

Talking to your children about the coronavirus can help ease their anxiety, reduce stress and learn how to protect their own health. We’ve put together a few suggestions on how you can teach your children about COVID-19.

Don’t Hide Reality

Although you should disclose details that are appropriate for your child’s age level, even toddlers can understand there has been a disruption to the norm, and it’s not wrong to talk to them about it. In fact, introducing children to the topic early can help them start to build resilience. This is an opportunity for your child to understand there are things in life beyond their control, but they can adapt with support rather than cope with anxiety.

Avoiding a scary subject like the virus can actually heighten children’s concerns. After all, if their parents aren’t talking about it, it must be really bad, right? They are bound to see headlines on the TV or phone, overhear adults talking about COVID-19 and draw their own conclusions.

Help dispel worry by talking openly about the virus. You can find the best information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. There is also a free video by education site BrainPop that you can watch together and discuss.

Stay on Their Level

Children should be spoken to in a manner that is easy for them to understand. Keeping language developmentally appropriate can help prevent misunderstandings and greater confusion. A small child between the ages of 2 and 4 will likely be fine with a straightforward, two-sentence explanation such as, “A lot of people outside are getting sick right now, so we’re going to stay inside to keep ourselves healthy while the doctors do their jobs.”

Older children will likely prompt for greater detail; those who use the internet have likely come across articles and done some of their own reading already. Answer their questions as they come, but keep a positive mindset. Focus more on what you and your family can do, like self-isolating and washing your hands regularly. Anxiety stems from uncertainty and feelings of powerlessness; shifting your child’s attention to their ability to protect themselves and others will help alleviate discomfort.

Reassure Repeatedly

Let your child know that the coronavirus seems to affect children in less severe ways, and that if they practice good hygiene, they will most likely not catch it. Remind children that they have the ability to protect themselves and their family; talk about the right way to wash your hands, which is 20 seconds. A helpful way to remember is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song while they lather with soap and water.

Stick to a Routine

It can be helpful for both you and your children to follow your usual schedule as closely as possible; it should be business as usual when it comes to waking up, bedtime and getting dressed. Maintaining this semblance of normalcy will bring comfort and security to children as they adapt to the many changes going on around them.

Enjoy Family Time

While sticking with a routine, let you kids know that this is also a great opportunity to have some extra family time and to do some things that you typically wouldn’t be of a mind to do or wouldn’t feel like you had the time for. Create an extra movie/pizza night, game night, book night, or outdoor games challenge. Do some Go Noodle dances together. Sing karaoke! Have a Dude Perfect shot or bottle-flipping challenge. One family we know of created a tik tok dance together. There are so many ways to take advantage of this time.

A good combination of all the above will make this an easier time for your children, you as parents, and for all of you as a family.

At Caring Heart Counseling, we want to be here for you and your family during this challenging time. We offer virtual counseling with our therapists that you can access right from the comfort of your own home. To learn more, contact us today.

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