It’s probably safe to say that we are all feeling a high level of anxiety at the moment. Even if COVID-19 has not affected you or your loved ones directly through illness, the indirect effects are tangible. As adults, we often need to talk things through in order to process difficult feelings such as fear, trauma, and conflict. Lawrence J. Cohen describes in his book The Opposite of Worry that children, on the other hand, process their internal struggles through play. They often use role-reversal to take back the feeling of power when made to feel helpless, such as pretending to be a doctor after going for a check up.
We can use this same principal to help our children face their fears of COVID-19 by creating a make believe environment in which they are not “helpless victims” to this virus. Sure, good sanitation practice is important, but we also need to safeguard them from developing a crippling phobia of germs.
Here are a few games to play at home:
Giving our children the opportunity to temporarily win over this virus provides a brief reprieve to feelings of helplessness and despair, and aids in the prevention of trauma taking hold to an inescapable extent. In a time where nothing is certain, these games give your children back the feeling of control, safety, and maybe even some joy.