Mental & Emotional Wellness in Children

Oftentimes, we worry about the physical well-being of our children. While that is extremely important, we must also not forget to take into consideration their mental and emotional health. These two elements are equally as important, particularly in a time when it seems like the whole world is changing around them faster than they can keep up with it. Very young children can also experience hardship during this time. According to this article from Child Trends, [because of] the COVID-19 outbreak, everyday life has changed and will continue to change for most people in the United States, often with little notice. Children may struggle with significant adjustments to their routines… which may interfere with their sense of structure, predictability, and security. Young people – even infants and toddlers – are keen observers of people and environments, and they notice and react to stress in their parents and other caregivers, peers, and community members.”

 

Additionally, fear can play a significant role in a child’s new outlook on life. Child Trends also notes how “[children] may ask direct questions about what is happening now and what will happen in the future and may behave differently in reaction to strong feelings {e.g., fear, worry, sadness, anger) about the pandemic and related conditions. Children also may worry about their own safety and the safety of their loved ones, how they will get their basic needs met (e.g., food, shelter, clothing), and uncertainties of the future.”

 

How do we address the mental and emotional needs of our children to help them through this turbulent time, especially as adults are experiencing the need for mental and emotional support ourselves? Talking to children is a big step in helping them feel safe. Help them understand what they are feeling and assure them that you love them and are doing everything you can to keep them safe. Child Trends provides several fantastic suggestions and additional resources on how to help children deal with life during the pandemic. 

 

The La Porte County Public Library also has resources to help you and your child during this time. Many books provide child-friendly, age-appropriate information about understanding and handling emotions. Check out the following titles in our collection and ask a librarian for more suggestions!

 

Posted on August 28, 2020

by Megan Roseberry

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