Kids grieving loss of normalcy amid pandemic

Education

(WJBF) – It’s a difficult time for many local children. Their normal activities halted to try and stop the spread of this sometimes deadly virus. A local counselor says some kids are grieving the loss of normalcy.

Learning French online can seem quite foreign to a sixth grader.

Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined this. A kitchen turned into a classroom. A dining room, once used for eating, now a place for consuming knowledge.

The result: some kids are actually grieving the loss of school.

“The new normal is vastly different than it was and that’s why we are seeing some feelings of grief in adults and children”

Dr. Richard Deaner is an associate professor at Augusta University and a licensed professional counselor. He’s also a dad.

Deaner says there are things parents can do to get their kids not bottle up those negative emotions.

“I’ll teach parents to play, get down on the floor and actually have floor time with the kids and use the language of play as their own communication style.”

He says once online learning is over, create some structure this summer in which your child can thrive.

“When kids don’t have structure they can become even more difficult sometimes. I think parents should consider planning out the summer in some way to provide that structure.”

Dr Deaner says get creative. Find activities that stimulate creativity. He suggests setting up a reward system for completing chores and goals.

And come Fall, if children return to the classroom, it will be another transition, that could create some new feelings of anxiety.

Again, communicating with your child is key.

“Kids like to know that they are going to be safe. Parents need to reassure them that they are doing things so they can feel safe.”

That can be a tall order in an unsafe world.

Doctor Deaner says during these stressful times, make sure your kids get enough sleep, about ten hours a night.

Children who don’t, can display the same symptoms as a child with ADHD.

And if your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sleep can even help some of the symptoms disappear.

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