This is from a Facebook post from Stephanie Grant, PhD: @stephaniegrantphd

A couple tips for preparing for COVID-19 in a trauma informed way:

1. Don’t ignore what’s happening, because your children - especially those with histories of trauma - will pick up on the fact that things are unexpectedly different in their worlds. But do avoid making them nervous.

2. A good message is to talk about the virus and how “we’re working together to keep more people from getting sick by pausing school and other places crowds may be…it’s so awesome so many people are working to help one another out!”

3. Focus on what WILL stay the same…little things, that you’ll still get up and eat breakfast, you’ll still have lunch, you’ll still sleep in your bed, etc. Give a nice long list.

4. If you sense a child is becoming anxious about it, call it out casually: “I noticed you might be kind of anxious about something…I’m wondering if it has anything to do with XYZ?”

5. Provide visual structure for your kids at this time. Make a visual plan for the day, introduce it in the morning, and work your way through it during the day. It will take extra effort on your part, but will help them with any anxiety and these unexpected changes.

6. Outdoor play and field trips, baths, sensory play, etc. will be helpful activities. I’ll likely post some other ideas over the next few weeks on my Facebook page as well.

EDITED TO CLARIFY: By field trips I meant outdoor play at places like nature trails, not museums, Target, or even playgrounds.

7. Remember that unexpected change, loss of routine and structure, and increased stress in the world will be HUGE triggers for many of your kids. Focus on co-regulation, keep expectations appropriate, and give grace to yourself and them.

8. Deep breaths, guys. Deep breaths. We can do this together.

Stephanie Grant, PhD


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Mar 14, 2020Liked by JD Davids @TheCrankyQueer

I love you so much. xo

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A Comment from Rebecca Denison, via Facebook:

My kids are grown, but they grew up when lots of people they met were sick or dying of AIDS.

I used the same guidelines for talking about HIV and health challenges as I did for talking about sex. Offer a little information. Listen a lot. Be prepared to answer questions but also to notice when they'd had enough and wouldn't benefit from more input at that time.

I wanted them to grow up confident that if there was something important for them to know about me or my health, they could trust they'd hear it from me first, rather than hearing it from someone carelessly commenting on my condition in their presence.

We talked explicitly about which adults they could talk to, or would care for them, if needed. (One retreat facilitator used to say "Every child needs 5 trusted adults so if some are out of commission, they still have someone they can turn to." I found that to be good advice, even though not everyone had that.) That was 20 years ago.

Today I'd add… for the little kids, it would be nice if Disney Plus made their streaming service free until we're all allowed to socialize again. Kids still need to be kids. ❤

We need a 2020 Mr. Rogers. But his old stuff, including a friendship with a kid in a wheelchair, is on YouTube and very soothing for kids.

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