Our “new normal” is not so normal.
We have all heard by now how the stress of Covid-19 and isolation of quarantine is impacting everyone, but we need to pay extra attention to how this may be affecting children.
Kids are struggling to cope with less time interacting with peers, engaging in social emotional play, an increase in screen time due to online school, and trouble dealing with the unknowns and uncertainty of quarantines and restrictions.
Many children do not exhibit the same signs and symptoms as adults when they are feeling anxious or depressed. Stress, anxiety, and depression can show up as behavioral concerns for a child, versus the typical stress and sadness exhibited in adults.
Here are some clues to look for in order to identify if your child may be struggling:
- A regression in previously achieved developmental milestones (for example, a child who is potty trained may start to have more accidents or wet their bed)
- Sleep regression
- Increase in separation anxiety
- More frequent and intense tantrums
- Some children may even become more aggressive
For older children and teens, the signs may be more like what you would expect from an adult; sadness, irritability, social isolation, decrease in hygiene, changes in sleep patterns and eating habits, and less motivation to complete school assignments.
Here are some ways you can help your child if you feel they are struggling:
- Talk openly with them about what is going on (in child-friendly language)
- Help keep them safely connected to peers
- Plan safe, engaging activities
If you or your child need help coping with feelings of anxiety or depression, please reach out to our office.