Jackie Becher is the Executive Director of Pedagogy at EtonHouse International School and Pre-School, Shanghai. With 25 years of educational experience and over 15 years as an educational leader, Jackie has influenced educational directions for schools and systems throughout Australia and Asia. She is a passionate and committed leader who is driven to work closely with children, staff, families and the community and recently co-constructed children's futures in China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore and Japan. A leader in educational leadership, Jackie has had experience with inquiry curriculums, including the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.
During this time of the coronavirus, it is important to educate your child on what is happening and how they should feel about it. Here are 3 books on health and emotions that will serve as a helpful guide during this period.
Your child may be confused when routines change during times of emergency and may feel all sorts of emotions. We should do our best to make them feel calm and safe as they are exposed to seeing things or news on the television and devices. This can cause them to feel uneasy or anxious. It is important that they know how to regulate their emotions.
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‘In My Heart’ is a book that explores feelings and emotions. It translates the physical aspects of each emotion like joy, sadness, anger, courage, shyness and more. It allows parents to explain and discuss feelings with young children and help them understand the ‘big’ and ‘small’ feelings they experience. Whilst explaining to children the different feelings, it helps reassure them and provide them with different strategies to cope with what they are feeling. This creative book enhances your child’s imagination as they learn to associate feelings with colours using the multi-layered die-cut hearts and whimsical art. This book will help your child better express themselves and cope with their emotions.
Overcoming Fear & Anxiety
Children often feel afraid; parents should stay observant to how your child is behaving or reacting, especially if they have a sudden loss of appetite or when they are acting out of the ordinary. They may also be affected by their parents’ concerns.
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‘When I Feel Scared’ is a book that contains comforting illustrations that help children face their fears. This book provides practical ways using a child-centric perspective, and they will soon learn that feeling scared is normal and there are easy ways to overcome it.
It is also important to remember that your child may not be able to speak about their feelings and why they feel scared at the moment. You can encourage your child to draw how they are feeling and work on further discussion together from their drawing.
It is important that adults honour the children’s feelings rather than respond with "there is nothing to be scared of". This discourages them from sharing and expressing their emotions. We need to keep the lines of communication open with children so they share with us their fears. This helps us to care for and love them.
Reinforcing Hygiene & Cleanliness
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Teach your child to practice cleanliness the fun way. ‘Wash Your Hands’ contains interesting illustrations that explain why it is important to wash their hands and keep them clean. It also highlights how often they should wash them. The main character in the book is a princess, giving your child the idea of royalty when they ‘imitate’ what the princess does.
This book also explains what germs and bacteria does to harm the body and how diseases are spread and make people ill. Children will hence learn to make this a habitual routine and hand washing will be part of the norm to them.
'A New Virus Has Arrived' is a very special bilingual book published by the EtonHouse Community Fund for children of all ages, even parents and grandparents too. With beautiful light-hearted illustrations, it explains the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in a sensitive and meaningful way.