Why declaring the Easter bunny “essential” during a pandemic can help children cope

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TORONTO –
For families celebrating Easter, this year’s festivities will be very different from each other.

Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, many will vacation indoors. This has raised concerns about whether the beloved Easter bunny will make his usual visit.

For parents, this poses a confusing question: should you tell your kids that the Easter Bunny is also in quarantine?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Tuesday that the Easter Bunny is a provider of essential services under the Emergency Management and Emergency Preparedness Act. In an official statement issued by the province, the rabbit was allowed to deliver Easter chocolate, candy and related treats to children in Ontario – of course, avoiding parks, playgrounds and other spaces outdoor recreation.

“I know it’s hard for the youngest to explain what’s going on right now and kids have simple things that worry them like the Easter Bunny,” Ford said at a press conference at Queen’s Park. “So children, the Easter bunny has become an essential service and he will make sure they have chocolates ready for Easter.” “

Ford’s statement comes after Toronto Mayor John Tory announced plans to raise the issue with the Prime Minister. Tory himself said the essential workers of the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy in the city of Toronto. This comes a day after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern added the two creatures to the country’s own list of essential workers.

Prime Minister François Legault also viewed the tooth fairy as an essential service in the province of Quebec.

Dr Julia Broeking says the idea of ​​declaring the Easter bunny an essential worker is a good idea, especially for young children like toddlers, preschoolers and those in early elementary school . The child psychiatrist insists that maintaining these types of traditions helps promote a sense of routine and consistency, to which children respond well.

“It can help follow some positive family rituals and events, and I think the story of the Easter Bunny is part of it,” she told CTVNews.ca by phone on Tuesday. “The more, in these unusual times, you can keep certain traditions intact with families, the better you will see that the children will face the most drastic changes. “

Establishing a sense of routine is important for children in general, she says, whether during or outside of a global pandemic. It is important to keep schedules as consistent as possible to reduce the pressure on children and to promote mental health.

“When you have natural transitions where there is less routine, like in summer, children often have a hard time when parents give up completely [schedules]Broeking said. “It can create a lot of anxiety. “

While consistency is crucial, Dr. Dina Kulik also highlights the importance of keeping children informed. The pediatrician insists on keeping an open conversation with children about what’s going on in the world and how it will continue to impact their lives. But she also advises parents to take their children’s ages into account when determining how to approach these types of topics, which can often be scary for children and difficult to understand.

“The way I talk about COVID with my five-year-old child is very different from the way I talk about it with my nine-year-old child,” Kulik told CTVNews.ca by phone on Tuesday. “He is very dependent on children – it depends on age but also on personality and temperament. “

According to the doctor, honesty is the best policy for talking to children, but it must be age-appropriate. Conversations should be based on what the children would like to know. She recommends starting with finding out what they already know, and building on that, while opening up to answering any questions they may have. It’s important not to overwhelm children with too much information, she warns.

“Conversations should examine what concerns them and what their questions are compared to just opening up to what you think they want to know,” she said. “You may be telling them more than they need to know or more than they want to know, and that could cause more fear.”

According to Broeking, it’s about finding a balance between staying informed and following the rules, while having a little fun.

“It’s all about really paying attention to all the guidelines and following them while … creating an ongoing forum where you can always have fun with these imaginary stories.” “



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