Parent Survival Guide: Helping anxious kids during COVID-19

Updated: May. 4, 2020 at 3:32 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As we start to slowly come out of isolation from social distancing due to COVID-19, anxiety can be an issue especially for children.

With so many changes to everyone’s routines in such a short period of time Pediatric Counselor Liz Meadows says It’s common for kids to feel stressed.

“There’s a lot of anxiety with kids right now because their worlds changed in the last month. They have gone from being able to have structure and routine with school schedule’s and being able to see teachers and friends to now. There’s a lot of unknowns,” Meadows said.

In an April poll by the Save the Children Organization, 49 percent of kids surveyed in 1500 households reported feeling worried, and 34 percent reported being scared.

More than half of the kids surveyed were concerned that they would not be ready for school in the Fall, and 74 percent were concerned about missing out on end of school year activities.

Meadows says she even sees the effects with her own kids.

“They talk a lot about how they miss their teachers, they miss their routines and structure of school," she says.

Meadows says there are some things you can do to lessen your child’s fears.

”If they’re having a stressful day, then we might have to modify that schedule," Meadows said. “We might have to implement time for connection, take a break to play a game or snuggle, validate those emotions. It’s hard for all of us to be in this situation."

She says create a distraction for them and teach them how to practice self care.

“You can find mindfulness exercises for children. You can take a mindful walk and get in the sounds of nature. You can get outside and do chalk and obstacle courses,” Meadows said.

Meadows says it’s important to listen to your child’s feelings and try to understand where they’re coming from.

She says also encourage kids by letting them know that their feelings are normal, and you will help them get though it.

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