Supporting Your Child Through Changes Big and Small

December 10, 2021

Whether it is the stress of the holiday season, the change of seasons, adjusting back to in-person learning or getting used to a full schedule, it is easy for our children to feel overwhelmed in response to change. To help parents guide their children through these changes, here are some tips from ACCESS Director of Behavioral Health Suzanne Snyder:

 

  1. Give your child time to prepare for change. Whenever possible, allow your child time to process the change and emotions that come with it.

 

  1. Listen and acknowledge their feelings. Create an open dialogue that allows your child to ask questions and address them while acknowledging their feelings. For young children who may have difficulty labeling their emotions, help them give names to how they are feeling (i.e. happy, angry, sad, worried)., etc.)

Tip: Try the 3N’s Strategy

 

  1. Offer stability and consistency whenever possible. Structure and stability give children a sense of safety so, whenever possible, maintain a consistent schedule when it comes to bedtimes or mealtimes and add in space for relaxation and fun.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in big ways and small, in ways we recognize and others that are too subtle to detect. Even if we think children may be too young to be affected, they react to  what they see, hear, and sense from those around them. We should practice patience and self-awareness in the face of change - first for ourselves and then for our children. We must listen, encourage and acknowledge our child’s feelings and offer stability and structure whenever possible. Just as mask-wearing and social distancing became our norm, we will need to be more open about checking in on each other and offer support to each other when needed. That starts with our children.

 

Need More Support?

As parents and caregivers, remind yourself daily you are enough and when you need help, it is okay to ask. If you need more behavioral health support, please contact ACCESS at 1.866.267.2353 to schedule an appointment today. ACCESS offers a wide range of behavioral health services and programs to help ACCESS patients live the best life possible. Our providers are clinically trained to connect you to the right specialists at the right time.

 

Pediatric vaccinations are now available to patients ages 5 – 11 years old at select locations. Call 1.833.754.2149 to make an appointment.

 

Resources:

7 Ways to Help Kids Cope with Big Life Changes

Coping with Stress – CDC

Helping Children Cope - CDC