PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, central Illinoisans are trying to embrace the new normal, but for children, adjusting to change might not be so simple.
So much has changed for kids in the last couple of months. Their normal routines are gone and play dates with their friends or extended families are a no-go.
These sudden changes can cause regressive behaviors in some children.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at UnityPoint Health – UnityPlace, Dr. Keila Sierra-Cintron, says there are a number of attitude changes to look out for.
“You may have a child that all of a sudden is isolating, you may have a child that is exhibiting act out behaviors,” Sierra-Cintron said. “It could be a child with increasing aggression, lots of defiance.”
Getting school work done at home can also be difficult for kids who are used to working in a classroom setting.
Kristen Newell, a mom of four, says her son doesn’t have the same drive to get work done.
“He’s not around his classmates and he is an “A” student who normally whips through his work very quickly and he just hates to do his work. Even math, his favorite subject, he just doesn’t want to do it,” said Newell.
Developing a routine for kids to fall into every day can help get them back on track. Things like waking up, going to bed, and having meals at the same time every day can help resolve some behaviors.
“This routine helps the parent regain control of the situation and if you’re in control as a parent then your kid has a much better chance of gaining control of their emotions,” said Sierra-Cintron.
Sierra-Cintron added that approaching your kids with kindness and reassurance is key. Parents should try and understand their child’s frustrations and make them feel safe.
Living with uncertainty during a crisis is not easy, especially for kids, but helping them control their emotions and become more resilient can help restore some normalcy.
For more information, contact UnityPoint Health – UnityPlace’s Access Center 1 (888) 311-0321.
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