The holidays might be more stressful for children as they have been dealing with anxiety and disruptions in their schedules because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Danielle Sink, chief medical officer at Bayless Integrated Healthcare, said signs of stress may include children not sleeping or appearing withdrawn. Teenagers might be more easily irritated, as many youths are taking classes online with uncertainty about what is ahead.

Sink recommends you acknowledge the grief your children are experiencing, including fun times with their friends and the loss of sports and other after-school activities. She suggests you set a daily routine to provide “a sense of control, predictability, calm and well-being.”

You should provide reassurance in an honest and loving way, allowing your children’s questions to guide you as far as how many details you share about what is going on, Sink said.

Sink suggests you engage your kids in a game, hobby, television show or other activity you can share with them. She recommends you teach your children and teens to give thanks daily for good things that have happened.

Sink urges parents to take care of themselves and to ask for help when they need it. Also, if your children’s symptoms or behavior seem out of character for them, contact your family physician or look for professional counseling services.



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