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Children And The New Normal

Children And The New Normal

Families and parents are trying to adjust to a new way of living with remote job tasks, social distancing, and virtual learning. The following are some pieces of advice you may follow as you’re working through the process with your children.

HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN TO CONSTRUCTIVELY SHARE THEIR FEELINGS?

Parents must keep lines of communication open with their children. Permit them to talk about what they feel even by asking questions. Let them also know that it’s fine to share their experiences. You can ask them:

  • How are you doing with all of the changes to your routine?
  • Is there anything you wanted to change about your routine?
  • What worries do you have about the COVID-19?
  • What are the changes that have been the hardest for you?
  • What do you miss about socializing in person or going to school?

HOW ADULTS SHOULD RESPOND TO CHILDREN WHO DO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT A NEW WAY OF LIVING?

  • Make an opening for children to share their feelings and listen to them. Adjusting to all of these changes can be hard and parents can recognize that. 
  • There may be grief that children or teens aren’t able to connect or even losing a connection with their friends, loss of opportunities, or not being able to participate in extracurricular activities. 
  • Parents can share their challenges and how they manage them with their children. By letting them know that you are adjusting too, might permit them to talk about things. Parents must be watchful to show them that it’s okay to have and to talk about difficult feelings. 

HOW MUCH DETAIL SHOULD PARENTS GIVE TO THEIR CHILDREN?

Parents may take their lead from children. If they ask questions or ask for information, it is just appropriate to answer and provide information. Keep the information simple and appropriate with their developmental level and age. 

HOW DO CHILDREN FEED OFF OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT?

Children pick up on the stress level in their environment. The stress about all the changes and health concerns are not only the things we are dealing with. Everyone is also dealing with community and global anxiety due to the pandemic. Adults should be mindful of how their conversations and behaviors might impact children. Parents and adults in the same household should be a good role model in managing stress and anxiety. 

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO IF A CHILD IS STRUGGLING WITH THE ADJUSTMENTS?

  • During this time, children with past anxiety might be particularly anxious. Take their condition seriously and do not limit their symptoms or feelings.  
  • If your child has difficulty in functioning daily, it can be an indicator that your child is having significant difficulty adjusting and need to seek professional support. 
  • Limit their media and news exposure about the COVID-19 pandemic. Repeated exposure can heighten their anxiety. 
  • There are lots of counselors offering virtual services through video platforms. Several insurance companies have also increased coverage of health visits. Consult with your child’s primary care provider or school counselor for referrals. You can as well search on the internet for a nearby therapist around your area.