The pandemic has caused a lot of anxiety in not only adults, but children as well
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The pandemic has caused a lot of anxiety in not only adults, but children as well. This can have an effect of their mental health and schooling. News Source 8 reporter Megan Cole has more on how you can tell if your child is experiencing pandemic stress.
COVID 19 has caused anxiety in both adults and children. Jennifer Bourassa is the director of curriculum and instruction at MSAD 1 and says that there are ways to tell if your student or child is getting anxious.
“You’ll see that they might be very clingy, especially younger kids. They might be very clingy, they might have a hard time letting their parents out of their sight. They might have a hard time sleeping, their eating habits might change. The things that they love to do they might not love to do, you’ll see that also with middle school and high school they will again have a really hard time and you might see changes in their behavior, they might become more angry, withdrawn really always the biggest thing.”
Bourassa says that this can affect schooling as students lose the ability to focus. She says that if parents notice behavior changes in their children, it’s important to talk to them to figure out what is going on.
“Asking some questions, try to dig in, what are they afraid of, sometimes as adults we might not even be aware that they’re afraid that maybe they’ve put two pieces of information together and they’re afraid that maybe a loved one is going to pass away of COVID or that their dog might pass away of COVID and they’re worried about that and they don’t know how to talk about it so sometimes asking questions and really listening and answering to the best of your ability as a parent or as a teacher.”
“Just be pretty frank and clear and have open conversations about even the parents stress and anxiety that they’re feeling. Kids overhear adults talking, their ears are always listening and working and so just being able to normalize the feelings that the adults are having, the parents are having, the caregivers and talk to kids about it making it a regular conversation,” Shawna Traugh, therapist consultant with AMHC, said.
Traugh says that there are ways for children to cope with these feelings.
“Yoga poses, deep breathing, grounding techniques such as you know like naming three things you see, hear, touch sensation wise. Drawing is very helpful and a creative tool, journaling for older kids that are more verbally expressive in that way. "
Both say that it is also good for parents to communicate with schools because schools have resources that can help children.
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