How to deal with kids’ anxiety as school, holiday routines change

Connecticut Families

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — “It’s the back and forth that’s challenging,” said Dr. Ryan Loss, noting that kids thrive on stability, and with schools bouncing between in-person and online learning, life is anything but stable. “One of the things to reflect on is spring. It wasn’t perfect; it’s never going to be perfect but we made that shift.”

Loss, of Connecticut Behavioral Health, said share your feelings too.

“I think we need to be real with our kids…You’re worried about it, we’re worried about it, but we’ll deal with it.”

The change in holidays could bring anxiety, as well, as kids miss grandparents and regular routines.

“You can be reflective, ‘Yeah, it stinks, it’s different. We always had a great time doing this, this and this. So, this will be a different year. Different isn’t bad. Well, maybe this is a little bad, I mean let’s be honest but ideally, it’s only this year.'”

Loss believes this difficult time could also be an opportunity for kids to build resiliency and strength.

“Find ways to focus on their strengths – adjustments, problem-solving – so as we transition through this, they know the support was there then, we’ve worked our way through it,” Loss said.

Give kids credit for the contributions they’ve made in getting through a global pandemic.

“Going through it with the strength that, ‘We made it through, you did those things to stay connected with your friends, you did these things to adjust to changes at school. You can get through a lot of things.'”

He said the prospect of a vaccine might bring up anxiety in younger children who don’t like shots but older kids can certainly understand and discuss the process in coming months, as a vaccine is rolled out.

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