Children may manage to disrupt their lives in ways that adults near them do not expect: acting, rewriting, retelling or even seeming strange things. Parents need to know that all of this is normal, experts say, and there are things we can do to help.
But sometimes, reporting stressful events – which may now include permanent absenteeism, lost parental work and financial mismanagement, or severe illness or the death of someone who cares – can leave children feeling depressed. .
Dr. Burke Harris said the spread of Covid-19 is a "perfect storm" for these stressors that negatively affect children's mental and physical health. But there are a lot of unknown, tools are available to help reduce the problem looga children are experiencing. Instead of being overwhelmed by stress, she said, we need to keep track of our children, evaluate their needs and help them change through difficult situations for growth opportunities.
Here are some ways that parents can help children work through stress without becoming toxic to their physical well-being.
Look at your children.
When we see a child behaving in a way that we think is inappropriate, we need to consider whether the child is out of her window for tolerance for depression, explained Korinne Edwards, is a therapist specializing in more than 15 years of experience working with children with trauma history. "Children's brains are locked up for survival, and given this, it's more important to look at their behavior than to look at what it takes to try to experience this difficult time."
For some children, anger and drowsiness – levels they seemed to have released months or years ago – may be their only symptom of internal struggle.
Reactions that seem inappropriate to the circumstances under which they are given, or different from the normal way a child is viewed, can be distressing indicators, ”he said. Joy Gabrielli, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Florida.
If you are not sure whether the stress response you see is normal, you may want to seek counseling for your child. Often, your child's regular health care provider can point you to the mental health resources available on telemedicine while you are at home stay orders.
Understand the impact of harm on children.
While many children are experiencing a state of tension right now, those who have suffered other traumatic events in childhood are at greater risk for the struggle during and after this crisis.
Dr. Buke Harris said: "ACE scores are not the whole and the end. is, and we need to pay attention.
"When we can predict it, we hope to prevent it," Dr. Burke Harris said. Posted by By knowing who is most at risk and suffering from the toxic stress known as & # 39; Covid-19 & # 39 ;, policy makers can deliver the resources to those who are most needed.
Yo Jackson, a professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University, who is also acting director of the Children's Conflict Resolution Network, stressed that it would be easier to say that children come from large homes. Serious things are hurting right now. She said, "the amount of money," she said, "but it's much more than that. We just can't & # 39; t check boxes & # 39; to decide how Covid-19 will affect them. a special child. "
Dr. Burke Harris agrees. "The same concern will not be answered by the same response from everyone," she said. Babies who are not at risk before Covid-19 may face a new threat because parenting pathways relied on in the past have disappeared, and those who have relied on support networks in the past may be filled with current deficiencies.
Avoid making assumptions.
Adults should recognize that for some children, the new loneliness caused by Covid-19 seems to be a gift. While we may be struggling with schools being shut down, the kids would be happy. We can assume that the children miss their friends, but they may be happy to spend more time with us. And some who deal with bullying or social challenges at school may make it difficult for them to see other children.
Find “stress buses” that work for your family.
When we think of childhood challenges, the key, Dr. Burke Harris said, we have to think about what children can do, and what we can offer, when we face such concerns.
Dr. Burke Harris recommends that parents help children avoid the harmful effects of stress by discussing them first with the disaster. She advises parents to help children understand that there are things they can do to help others – such as staying home whenever possible and wearing a mask when they leave. Babies feel good when they know they are helping them solve the problem.
Dr. Burke Harris also encourages parents to keep kids connected with friends and family, which can be done through video chat, phone calls and letter writing. Finally, it recommends families create and stick to the standards that give children structure, making time for play, hygiene and when possible in safe, physical activities.
Some children will fight more than others during a pandemic, and these children may need support even in the coming months.
Ms. Edwards said: "While it is difficult to see children in distress, we want to deal with them in a supportive environment," These are opportunities for networking, and we can help children grow up by helping them learn how to manage their emotions. hard and to remind them that they are not alone.