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Giving Compass' Take:
• In an article for EdSurge, Emily Tate provides strategies to monitor your child's mental health as coronavirus and remote learning add extra stressors to their lives.
• Why is this such a challenging time for both children and their parents? What can we do to support innovate mental health services during coronavirus?
Like nearly everyone else, children have experienced enormous disruption during the pandemic. Their schools closed months ago and, for many, remain closed. They stopped seeing friends and teachers on a regular basis, or had to get used to seeing them through a screen.
All of these changes are stressors. And they represent only the best of cases. In the worst, children may be in unsafe or unstable home environments, they may be housing or food insecure, their family members may have lost jobs or incomes and they may have seen or experienced increased violence.
This has led to heightened concerns about children’s mental health.
Though much has changed, there are strategies that parents and educators can use “to help mitigate the stress” and “protect children and help them feel safe,” said Dr. Jennifer Shroff Pendley, who is the chief psychologist at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and a professor of pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
It’s important to note that the pandemic has affected children and families in different ways, based on geography, race, socioeconomic status, disabilities and a host of other factors. Some children will naturally experience more stress and anxiety around COVID-19 than others.
“For children with a lot of anxiety, we can provide reassurance without negating their feelings. But don’t assume what they are feeling. Ask them. Ask if they are OK. Know that all emotions are all right,” she said.
“You can create a lot of those interactions. But for parents … give yourself a break from that feeling you have to do everything perfectly. Every opportunity you have with your little one is an opportunity for their development and for you to help them grow.”
Read the full article about a child's mental health during COVID-19 by Emily Tate at EdSurge.