What are some strategies for supporting 2-year-olds’ emotional development during the covid-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about drastic changes in our daily lives, including how we care for our little ones. As parents, guardians, or caregivers, we have to be proactive in ensuring that the emotional needs of our 2-year-olds are met during this period. Here are some strategies that can help support their emotional development:

1. Spend time with your child

One of the most important ways to support your 2-year-old’s emotional development during this pandemic is by spending quality time with them. With social distancing measures in place, it might be challenging to keep them entertained, but it is necessary. Schedule regular playtime sessions with them, dance around with them, read books, or watch age-appropriate videos together. This bonding time can help your child feel secure, loved, and valued.

2. Acknowledge their feelings.

Two-year-olds are not immune to stress and anxiety, and it’s crucial to recognize and validate their feelings during this pandemic. Provide a safe space where they can express their emotions freely, whether it’s fear, sadness or frustration. Use simple language to explain what’s going on in a way that they can understand. For instance, you can say something like ‘We can’t go to the park because there are germs outside that can make us sick.’

3. Create a routine

With the pandemic, normal schedules have gone out the window. This can be confusing and overwhelming for your 2-year-old child. Creating a routine can help them feel more secure and reduce anxiety. Have a fixed time for meals, play, naps, and bedtime, and try to stick to it as much as possible. A predictable routine can help your child feel more in control and therefore be more responsive.

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4. Encourage their independence

As your child grows, they are likely to want to do things for themselves more often – this might be putting on their shoes, zipping up their coat or getting dressed. Let them have these small victories, as they will help build their sense of independence and confidence. Encouraging self-care is also essential, and this can include things like brushing their teeth and washing their hands appropriately.

5. Limit exposure to news

While it’s essential to stay informed about the latest developments concerning the pandemic, it’s important to limit your child’s exposure to news broadcasts, especially those that might cause fear or anxiety. Keep conversations with your child about current events brief and at an age-appropriate level.

6. Be patient

It’s understandable that as parents, you may be worried, anxious, and uncertain yourselves. However, it’s important to remain calm, positive, and patient when interacting with your child. Toddlers are still developing, and they can become overwhelmed by emotions quickly. A calm and reassuring presence can help them feel more secure.

supporting the emotional needs of our 2-year-olds during the pandemic is crucial. Spending quality time, acknowledging their feelings, creating a routine, fostering independence, limiting exposure to news and staying patient are just a few ways in which we can meet their emotional needs. By doing so, we can provide our little ones with a sense of stability, comfort, and security during these uncertain times, helping them develop resilience that will serve them well beyond COVID-19.

You may also be interested in reading this interesting article on ‘HOW CAN PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS SUPPORT 2-YEAR-OLDS” SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN MULTILINGUAL HOMES?’ where similar topics are discussed.

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What are some strategies for supporting 2-year-olds' emotional development during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Numerical Data

  • Providing consistent routines and schedules to create a sense of predictability and stability for young children (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020).

  • Creating a calm and positive environment by modeling calm behavior and positive coping strategies (Zero to Three, 2020).

  • Offering ageappropriate explanations and reassurance about the pandemic and related changes, such as why adults and children wear masks (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020).

  • Encouraging play and physical activity as a way for children to express their emotions and release stress (Zero to Three, 2020).

  • Emphasizing the importance of physical touch and connection through activities like reading aloud, snuggling, and singing (Zero to Three, 2020).

  • Staying connected with family and friends through virtual platforms to maintain social connections for both children and caregivers (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020).

  • References:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics. (2020). Supporting young children and families during the COVID19 pandemic. https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019novelcoronaviruscovid19infections/clinicalguidance/supportingyoungchildrenandfamiliesduringthecovid19pandemic/

  • Zero to Three. (2020). Tips for families: Coronavirus. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3210tipsforfamiliescoronavirus