What Your Child or Adolescent is Really Worried About During This Time of COVID and Re-entry

The Coronavirus has certainly redefined our daily lives and routines, and for many, has created a great deal of uncertainty and stress. What is clear, however, is the way in which people have conceptualized this pandemic has varied greatly. For some, being separated from friends and family has created angst and sadness. For others, the pause in running from activity to activity has allowed them to better cope with the hardship in the world right now. Just as adults have responded differently to our current circumstances, so have children and adolescents, and at times in surprising ways.

The psychologists at the Hudson Valley Center for Cognitive Therapy (HVCCT) have been working diligently to help the children and families in our community during this time and have witnessed several trends in children’s thinking and concerns. As the world begins to open up again, the worries that children and teens are talking about are shifting. Understanding how the virus is impacting children is essential, as it will allow the adults in their lives to support them in appropriate ways without triggering unneeded anxiety or stress.

The most notable areas of concern regarding the ongoing pandemic and their re-entry are reported to be:

  • Returning to School
  • Academic Stress
  • Rebuilding a Connection to School, Teachers, and Classmates
  • Social Insecurity
  • Illness
  • Anxiety about the Future

Resilience of Children

In many cases, it is heartening to see the ways in which children and families are coping. The good news is that despite current challenges, children and teenagers are often showing a great deal of strength and resilience as they face the trials of daily living. Kids are making significant efforts to adapt to the new academic, social, and environmental changes that they are facing and often are doing a good job in doing so. It is common, however, that children and teens may need some additional support as they navigate this new world. If you are uncertain about how to best help your child with some of these common worries, if you notice that your child is struggling, or if you see that any pre-COVID mental health issues are emerging with greater intensity or frequency, we recommend that you reach out to a mental health professional.

Like the HVCCT, many professionals are offering telehealth options until face-to-face sessions can resume. Studies have consistently demonstrated the efficacy of teletherapy and its utility for mental health issues. In fact, we have found that most kids have responded very well to telehealth, perhaps because many were already comfortable with online communication. If you would like information about the psychological services we offer at our center please feel free to contact us. We are also happy to share other resources as well. Our center is committed to helping our community cope with the psychological stressors as we navigate COVID-19 and its aftermath.