Study: Parents worried about long-term effects of pandemic on children’s mental health

Coronavirus

NATIONAL (CBS Newspath) – A new survey from Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows more and more parents are worried about the long-term effects of the pandemic on children’s mental health.

66 percent of parents are worried their children’s mental health will suffer even more as the pandemic continues into the winter, according to the survey. 57 percent say they’re running out of ways to keep their kids positive.

Dr. Parker Huston is a pediatric psychologist. He says for kids to feel a sense of security and normalcy, parents need to be consistent. “Have a schedule no matter for kids what the learning environment might be, to have one, two, or even three schedules if necessary, and keep those routines,” Dr. Huston says.

He also encourages parents to check in regularly with their kids about how they’re feeling. Dr. Huston says, “Ask questions like: What was the best part of your day today? What was the hardest part of your day today?”

Megan Burke knows raising 3 kids during the COVID-19 pandemic is a struggle. She says, “Every day they’re like, when is this coronavirus going to end, when is it over, I just want it to go away.”

Everything “normal” has been disrupted, from school to seeing friends, and Burke says it’s impacting her 8-year-old. “We’ve noticed that she gets a little more angry or frustrated with how things are going, why she can’t go to her dance classes anymore.”

Burke says she talks with her kids and they stick to a schedule. Her 8-year-old also meets with a counselor. Burke has also been organizing socially distanced parades for the holidays in her neighborhood. “They are just full of smiles and laughter and it gives the kids a chance to see other kids but from a distance.”

Experts say parents can embrace change this year and try to come up with new, creative traditions for the holidays.

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