March 29, 2021
How to help your kids during COVID
You’ve had a lot to worry about.
Life has been so unpredictable and stressful the past year. It seems like everything changes on a daily basis. Really, it changes by the minute. And you’ve been doing your best to keep up with everything that’s going on. For the most part, you’re doing well! You know what needs your attention and where to delegate your energy. Right now, you really only have time to be worried about things that clearly need your time. And I mean clearly need your time. Like the things that are going to explode if you don’t do something right now.
And, if we’re being honest, your kids don’t always need your attention.
Okay, I know that doesn’t sound great- but hear me out. Overall, your kids have done pretty well navigating the pandemic. Yes, there have been some tough moments. We all remember the conversations explaining why they can’t go to their friend’s house. Or, why they can’t see their grandparents. These conversations weren’t easy, but we got through it. But, overall, it seems like our kids are doing well. Right?
Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
A pattern that we’re noticing with our children is that they’re now starting to be affected by COVID. Does that mean they’ve somehow been immune to all of the things we’ve been experiencing as a planet? No. This means that kids they’re beginning to feel the impacts of experiences that adults have. This includes symptoms of depression and anxiety. You’re probably wondering why this is happening. Well, it’s because children present these symptoms at a delayed pace compared to adults. With children, we’re beginning to see the impact. That, compared to adults, should have happened a long time ago.
What to look for in your children during COVID
With this information, you’re probably wondering if your child falls in this category. And, for good reason. Each child is very different. So, this will look different for every child. But, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Your child not wanting you to leave.
This is different from the typical anxiety that comes from being away from you for an extended period. This is them feeling like you are their only friend. Really, the only kind of support in their life. Sometimes this is more apparent when you hear them say things like, “mommy and daddy are my only friends.” Other times, it’s not as obvious. But, in either situation, keep your eyes peeled for things that they say that are similar.
Your child showing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.
These often look different in little ones. For some, this looks like an increase in irritability. Sometimes this looks like frequent crying. Other times, this looks like being too agreeable- in most situations. It’s like they’re purposely trying not to rock the boat. Especially if this mindset is not appropriate for their age.
Your child is overall acting different.
We know that kids grow and change all the time. Sometimes, it feels like on a daily basis. But, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about doing things that don’t make sense for them given their history. Things that are very uncharacteristic for them. When these things happen, it doesn’t make sense given the context. Sometimes, these things seem really small or insignificant. But in reality, they give us a lot of information about what our child is thinking and feeling.
So, what do you do? Is it time to consider therapy?
You talk to them! Create a space that they feel like they can be honest about what they’re feeling. Let them know that they can be honest with how they’re feeling. And if they don’t know what they’re feeling at that moment, that’s okay too! Let them know that they can share this at any time. Regardless of how you approach it, the most important thing is to recognize that this isn’t “just a kid thing.” These times are different than anything else that we’ve ever experienced. So, take what they say seriously. Really evaluate what they’re saying to you. And if you need to tag in a professional, do so!
Begin Parent Counseling in Forest Hills, NY
This is a tough situation that you don’t have to navigate on your own. While I don’t work with children, I can still provide you with the resources you need to be successful in helping your child. I offer my services through online therapy in New York, as my Forest Hills counseling clinic is closed. When you’re ready to begin counseling for parents, follow these steps:
- Reach out to me. Let’s talk about a plan.
- Get to know me as your new therapist.
- Help your children grow and heal.