The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is stressing out everyone – including kids. Because since March, most kids haven’t been to school, seen their friends, played sports, or even visited their grandparents. And that’s taking a toll on their emotional wellbeing. That’s according to a survey of nearly 7,000 people by Italy’s University of Genoa.
The survey found that 65% of children under age 6 are suffering behavioral problems and regression, like throwing tantrums and sucking their thumbs again. The most common problems include increased irritability, sleep issues, separation anxiety, even uncontrollable crying.
And older children are suffering from increased anxiety and shortness of breath. They’re also having a particularly hard time falling asleep and waking up, a sleep disturbance that researchers call, quote, “domestic jet lag.”
And there’s a significant correlation between how stressed parents are and how stressed kids are… it trickles down from parents to kids.
So, how can you help?
First: ASK your kids how they’re feeling. And let them know their fears and anxieties are normal, and that you’re anxious too sometimes.
Also, model good stress-busting behavior, and invite your kids to join in. Like taking walks together, or doing deep breathing exercises.