Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic on Children

When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a ‘mini me’ but a spirit throbbing with its own signature.

-Dr. Shefali Tsabary

In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Sonali Kohli writes: “Not every child will experience the COVID-19 pandemic as a trauma, and some have already learned healthy coping skills, but many will experience loss if the disease has attacked their loved ones. Also, while secluded at home during the Coronavirus outbreak, more children than usual may witness substance abuse, neglect, violence or abuse, experts said. Because of this pandemic, ‘we’re going to see increased stress-related cognitive impairment and diseases’ and probably increased toxic stress, said Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s surgeon general.”

Roslyn Duffy, in her book, The Top Ten Preschool Parenting Problems, writes about helping children cope with grief. She explains: “It is easy to be so caught up in our own struggles when facing life crises that we fail to recognize their connection to a child’s behavior. The loss of a family member, friend, or even a pet can bring about significant changes. One child may begin to wet the bed, another refuses to eat, and another…may hurt others…Grieving is a process that both children and adults experience, but children do not grieve in straightforward ways. They may act out in ways that seem unrelated.”

Source: “We need to prepare for the mental health effects of coronavirus on kids,” by Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2020

The Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network helps improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers through extensive resources, services, and education for caregivers. Learn more about how we can help you improve the standard of care.


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