We have all experienced undue amounts of stress during the outbreak of COVID-19, and our children have not been exempt from it, either. From intense changes in routine, to uncertainty moving forward with plans such as family trips and projects, our children have lived through an unprecedented time in their lives. It’s understandable, then, that they might be experiencing effects of that stress – which can manifest in many ways, including physical ailments and mental health issues.
Children of all ages, along with their parents, have reached a new crossroads in the COVID-19 journey: returning to school during a worldwide pandemic. Concerns about infection rates abound, especially for those with immune-compromised family members. Some schools have chosen to reopen physical locations with new protocols for slowing the spread of COVID-19; many more have chosen to move their classwork online.
If your child is struggling with the transition, either back into a physical classroom with new, extensive protocols to learn, or adjusting to being far from their friends with online learning, professional child counseling can help. Children experience the same stressors as adults do; however, they show it in different ways. Many children aren’t able to verbally express what they are feeling, or what is causing them distress; instead, many children show their distress through anger or “acting out”.
Calling on a professional counselor can help you and your child communicate more effectively. At Live Wellness, our counselors are caring and experienced with child counseling of all ages, and deeply understand the connections between children and their parents. If you, as a parent, are experiencing difficulty with finding balance within yourself during these unprecedented times, perhaps consider one-on-one counseling for yourself, as well. You can only calm your child’s nervous system down to the level where yours currently resides, so if you are living at a high emotional anxiety level, your child could be pickin up on this and mirroring it back to you.
Art therapy is a very effective tool to help children of all ages work through their emotions and learn healthier coping behaviors for when they are feeling out of control. Quiet, apprehensive children especially can benefit from this modality, as it allows them to express themselves without words and instead focus on releasing the build-up of tension from their rich internal environment. Art therapy can be effective as a standalone form of therapy, or in addition to talk therapy; every child is different, and it may take some experimentation to find the “magic combination” that allows your child to relax, feel safe, and experience support during this time of transition.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our caring staff is here to help you navigate the counseling process and find a solution that works for you and your child. Whether you set up child counseling sessions to help your child de-stress while returning to school suring COVID-19, or find that family therapy is the best choice for the moment, we can assure you that greater peace and connection in your household is only a phone call away!