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Kids and COVID isolation & stress

by Jan 12, 2021Health0 comments


Many students across the

nation are dealing with sudden

changes to their social lives

and daily routines, the inability

to access education, food

insecurity, and some may even

experience unsafe (emotional or

physical) home environments.

These challenges can present

feelings of sadness, despair,

anxiety and stress, said Dr. Gil

Noam, founder and director of

The PEAR Institute (Partnerships

in Education and Resilience) at

McLean Hospital and Harvard

Medical School.

Parents, who are already

struggling to balance telework

and childcare, should try

to focus daily on creating a

positive home environment

and continuing to build quality

relationships with children

to help them feel secure and

confident in uncertain times.

Regular family meals are one

way to nurture relationships and

check in with your children.

“The feeling of a safe

environment where the

relationships really matter in a

positive way is essential and will

have a strong effect in the long

term,” Dr. Noam said.

Here are more suggestions from

Dr. Noam that parents can tailor

to age and developmental levels:

Young children:

Be available and in close

distance as much as possible.

Parents should practice their

own self-care so they are rested

and patient with little ones who

need them throughout the day.

School age children:

Parents should choose their

battles over school-work.

Don’t pick a fight when it will

compromise the quality of the

parent-child relationship and try

to transition a potential conflict

into something more positive.

Do not set low expectations

or avoid creating needed

structure – just remember that

consistent criticism can create a

bad environment for everyone.

Playing games, listening and

providing hope are other

constructive ways to build a

stronger connection.


When possible try to watch movies

and listen to music together with

your teen. Learn their world,

but also respect their need for

privacy and time alone as they

are used to spending more time

with their friends.

Research suggests times of crisis

can have long term effects on a

child’s behavior as well as their

mental and emotional wellbeing.

However, we also know

that with the right support, hard

times can build resiliency in

young people, giving them the

ability to better handle stress

and rebound from a setback or

challenge, said Dr. Noam.

While it is completely normal

for youth to experience a

wide range of emotions

during uncertain times, severe

or prolonged feelings of

depression or sadness may be

an opportunity to provide them

with additional support.


If a young person you know is

experiencing intense worry or

sadness about current or future

events, and it is disrupting their

ability to cope with everyday life,

there is support available

– https://www.cdc.gov/


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