The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the lives of so many people physically, financially, and even mentally. For some people, this pandemic has intensified pre-existing emotions, and for others it has brought on new feelings and symptoms that may have never existed before.
A few years ago, I learned an interesting fact about sharks while helping my son with his first-grade research project. Some species of sharks never stop moving in the water – even when they sleep. This is because of the way they take in oxygen through their gills. If they stop moving, they stop breathing and ultimately drown. I was recently reminded of this fact of nature as I thought about the many clients I work with who were all in various stages of change when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Social distancing has been difficult for so many of us and children are not immune to the stress of this large change. When faced with uncertainty, children often struggle to adapt the way we are able to in adulthood. As a result, their struggle can be even greater and more confusing for us as parents.
Most families are worried that this pandemic is going to create anxiety in their children. We recognize how perceptive they are and how quickly their world’s have changed. Solutions like limiting their exposure to the news or avoiding conversations about death tolls may reduce the likelihood that our children will become anxious or depressed.
Shelter-in-Place, Stay-at-Home Orders, Social Distancing and COVID-19 were all words or phrases that I had never heard of prior to March 2020. A lot has changed in a very short amount of time and a lot of stress has been placed on relationships.