Recognizing stress among children during the pandemic

AM Extra

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The pandemic is obviously a top stressor for most adults, but our children are experiencing stressful situations on a daily basis as well.

Psychologist and author Dr. Magdalena Battles joined AM Extra Wednesday to share her expertise on the issue.

Some tips Dr. Battles offers to help with kids showing signs of stress include:

  1. Seek professional help if the signs of stress are significant. Many practitioners are seeing clients and patients online using technology such as Zoom or Skype.
  2. Set a routine and schedule, especially for school days Mon.-Fri.: Bedtimes, wake up times, school hours, and mealtimes.
  3. Allow flexibility but set expectations and boundaries. Children thrive better when they know what is expected of them.
  4. Outside time and playtime is crucial: Kids need exercise, fresh air, and sunlight daily. Schedule a daily walk or hike into your routine.
  5. Diet: Ensure they have a well-balanced diet. Ensure they are getting all their needed nutrients during mealtimes.
  6. Help your kids socialize and see their friends online. Use technology (under supervision) so your kids can connect with their friend. FaceTime, Zoom, etc.. It is important that they still get social time, even if it is from afar.
  7. Limit their exposure to news. Be careful about what you say in front of them. They likely know already about the virus, so we do not need to instill daily fear, as this adds to their stress. If they are worried: be honest about the likelihood of them getting seriously ill (not very likely at all).

Dr. Battles latest book 6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families: Strategies for Healthier and More Loving Relationships comes out in July.

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