COVID Anxiety in Children


Welcome to this week's episode of the Psych Central Podcast I'm your host gave Howard and calling into the show today we have Ada Peres Ada is an author and communications professional with a passion for mindful parenting her book anxious mom anxious child a mother's journey from anxiety to serenity was ranked among the top one hundred on Amazon's family and personal growth category. She's a two time recipients of CNN's peabody award certificate and she makes her home in the suburbs of Georgia, Ada welcome to the show. Thank you for having me Gabe by I'm very excited to have you here. Everybody is talking about covert and the corona virus and the. That that is causing to adults. Nobody's really talking about anxiety in children. Do you feel that that's the case that we're missing this piece? Absolutely it is concerning NOPD that most children are not able to go to school in person and see their friends and have a normal routine, and now on top of it, you have to adapt to the fact that your parents maybe are having extreme financial hardship but how about their mental health are we focusing on the impact of not having them have a normal social exchange with their friends? Sometimes, children are not able to even connect with their family, the grandparents because of covid nineteen when people talk about anxiety and children I am one of the adults that just knee jerk rolls, my eyes I really honestly that guy I think to myself. Oh really a child has anxiety your five year ten year fifteen. What anxiety could you possibly have? The first thing that I want to say is that's wrong. It's wrong of me to feel this way under any circumstances but somebody said something to me the other day that made me realize that I was just incredibly short sighted derain. pan-demic one, it's global pandemic. So maybe we need to update our thought processes on a lot of things. But somebody said to me, you know the children of America were picked up from school in March. And they never went back. They haven't seen their friends since then they don't know what's going on because adults don't know what's going on. So they're not only getting the same mixed messages we are but the people in their lives, their parents, their grandparents are adults who they looked out for authority and specific answers are not able to provide them. I can't imagine what kind of anxiety issues that would cause a child who is already trying to learn about the world. What are your thoughts on all? Of that well, first of all anxiety among children is not new. In fact, court into Ucla from twelve to twenty percent of all children. In the United States, we see some form of anxiety. It is common that anxiety can be confused with other symptoms and unsigned ut will show up in different ways when you are a baby or when a child is a toddler and when you're she are in preschool years and then going into the preteen teenagers. So you're right we should add to our bucket of. Tools, and learn how to recognize symptoms in our children and depending on the on their age. We might be able to direct them to better ways to cope with the stress or the inside he that many of them are suffering one of the things that you talk about in your book anxious mom anxious child a mother's journey from anxiety to serenity was the impact that your anxiety, the parents anxiety had on your child. Do you feel that because Americans are very very anxious about covid nineteen that they're? Passing that on to their children in more significant ways or in much greater numbers it's a good idea that we should look closely first of all, we don't pass inside he toward children. The views should be, how is my behavior impacting the environment of our children of my children? Yes you're correct I do believe in that sense that the inside t that parents are suffering because of their many very valid concerns given the current situation will have an impact in the quality of the environment in their homes. We are meant to be surrounded by calming environments that can lead to a healthier conversations to more focused interactions be at work at home with our friends with our family and we we are stressed if we are always worried if our temper is short. No question about it we will create chaos in our environment in our. will be suffering from that stress that is often not seen but you you can send saidst for sure. One of the things that I keep thinking about is if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail and is there any concern that parents will put anxiety on their children just because like Oh, well, they they must be anxious when in actuality they're just bored or possibly have other mental health concerns like depression, for example, well, if they are very young, let's say for example, zero toddlers depending on their age, they will show inside these symptoms differently younger children perhaps might just have more of the generally recognised Zaidi when it comes to having problems. Sleeping at night they they're afraid of monsters though symptoms may be common it. It is common to see that children are afraid to maybe sleep by themselves or they fear that their parents are traveling. They're not sure they're gonNA win they're going to see the next. So there is an anxiety there's a separation anxiety that comes with children and parents that travel for work for example, however, when symptoms are consistent when children are coming home in, they are complaining about stomach pains consistent headaches overnight maybe they're clenching. Their teeth when the symptoms are extended, when those sentence are than interfering with social activities, they refuse to maybe interact with others go to events or maybe they're just not interested in going back to school at all because they are afraid of being judged. They feel fearful of talking about current circumstance in their personal lives. If that continues for a long period of time, it is something that perhaps parents should be very mindful off one of the things that I think about when I think of anxiety and children. Separation anxiety. It's kind of the anxiety and children I understand the most because I had separation anxiety like when my mom would go away or when when my grandmother wasn't around one of the ways that my family handle this, we always did the sleeps thing you know where's mom she'll be here in to sleeps and after lunch. Okay. While I understand that now we can't say that covid nineteen is going to be over in two sleeps in after lunch. How is that management between parents and children when even? We don't know the end. Is there any strategies that you would recommend because I guess in my mind? I'm just sitting here thinking from a parent's perspective sitting the child down and saying, I promise it's going to be okay. Why would they believe you especially a young you know five, six, seven, eight, nine years old they're old enough to kind of understand that mom and dad don't understand what's going on but they're too young to really understand that it's reasonable that mom and dad don't understand what's going on. First of all I feel that parents are always the go-to persons for children and they should always be there cheerleader and they should always also face challenges in be straightforward with their children be honest about the circumstances and you are right when you say that the parents can promise that tomorrow everything will be back to normal with that being said, if we are hopeful about the future and we keep a hopeful outlook for them they will. In, turn feel more courageous and they will have a lighter picture in mind. So I would encourage parents to I recognize that they are not alone. There are millions of parents out there suffering through similar circumstances losing family member I with financial challenges that to not end anytime soon and would those challenges sometimes, they are more times to sit down with our children and talk about how can find moments of calmness in this new covid nineteen. Routine. It's children

Coming up next