I keep hearing this question at the beginning of most conversations with my friends and my patients.
As 2021 begins and the aftermath of 2020 keeps dropping difficult and unpredictable situations in our laps, adults parent, grandparents, teachers, caregivers alike are faced with one more reality – helping our children deal with childhood stressors.
Key stressors for children include:
As a Clinical Psychologist, I see first-hand many of the issues that can cause undue stress and anxiety in children
- Loss of physical contact with friends
- Too much or too little access to virtual connections with friends and family
- Lack of “normal” elementary, junior high or high school experience
- Increased anxiety and worry over “what am I missing”
- Anxiety over exposure to disease
- Constant reminder of Pandemic from parents, local, national or international news (via online, smartphone or the old-fashioned television)
Children are also resilient
This generation of children are growing up in an unprecedented time. None of us could have predicted the socio-political climate and devastating health impacts of 2020 and their continued influence on 2021. Our children are witnessing all kinds of positive and negative opinions, conversations with classmates and online clips.
Social media influence
I would be remiss if I did not mention the online games that our children are playing: Tik Tok, Among Us, Fortnite, Star Wars Battlefront and Roblox. School may or not be in session physically, but they still have influences all around them.
Adult influence can make a difference
Remember, our children are watching, listening and modeling US!
This is a unique time where adults have more influence than usual. Whether we are quarantining, sheltering at home or working remotely, we are seeing our children more than in the past. It is a great opportunity for informative conversations, meaningful questions/answer sessions and allowances for emotional turmoil to be expressed.
Make sure that you are doing actions and making comments that are worthy of mimicking and repeating.
If you have questions or concerns, reach out to a mental health professional for advice and help.