April 11, 2022
COVID and Your Kids' Mental Health
We can all remember events throughout our childhood that the grownups handled.
While we didn’t know what, we knew something had happened, and for some reason we were not being told what “it” was. Instead, we were hushed over to the kids table for the adults to talk it out, or sent off to bed to settle for faint murmurs of conversations we wouldn’t emotionally or conceptually understand the weight of for years to come. All of this just to be met the next day with the long list of all the things about our lives that would be changing because the adults in their own private conversations had made decisions that through existence alone cemented themselves into the concrete laws of our life next to those of physics and our beliefs that the world was our playground.
Early on into the year 2020, Covid was the “it”, and our children woke up to a new world filled with new rules no one had prepared them to operate within.
While the grownups worried about learning how to navigate Zoom meetings without leaving their mics muted, kids saw playrooms turn to offices, playgrounds depicted as danger zones, and playdates punishable by the full letter of the law.
We adults are still navigating through the mental and emotional recovery efforts of the pandemic, and so are our kids. While still in the process of being studied, the effects of routine changes, isolation, and abnormal eating habits have undoubtedly changed this generation of children’s life experience and perception of themselves and the world. These new emotions to fight through came compounded with an increased scrutiny of parental eyes that were now close by all day every day (when they weren’t looking at a screen that is.)
Signs your child may be struggling with post-pandemic mental health issues:
- Concentration Issues
- Poor Sleep
- Abnormal Eating Habits
Thankfully, there are a plethora of mental health stability skills children can learn through counseling. Counseling provides kids with a safe space to talk to a new, friendly face, something they may have felt deprived of when the world suddenly got a lot smaller. They also learn problem solving skills to help develop their ability to adapt to mental and emotional challenges that far exceed what would have been considered the normal expectation only a few years ago. These skills are used to instill a foundational level of coping techniques, so that counseling doesn’t have to be confined to one office room. Through counseling, children are empowered not just to navigate through the healing and growth they need, but to step back out into this new world better equipped to handle it.
We all need help navigating this new world, and child and adolescent counseling equips the next generation to get back to adventuring, exploring, and being kids again. Consider finding a counselor for your child to regularly work with so they can learn how to work through the impact of COVID and move forward in their lives with skills to thrive.