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It’s mid-April 2020 and, within the past few days, I’ve seen more and more influencers bravely sharing the high levels of stress that they – and their family members – are experiencing due to stay-at-home orders. Such confessions are even coming from national and worldwide personalities, who have millions of followers.

When school closures & social distancing are over, don’t forget how stressed out the pandemic made people feel. Then, realize that some kids struggle with anxiety or depression; not for a few months, but every day, for years. A lack of self-control is what is often most visible.

I can’t help but pray that, as visibly as adults are struggling, we’ll remember this when we see a child repeatedly struggling with his or her emotions and/or behavior. In the U.S., we haven’t even been in lock-down for two full months. Yet the psychological impact on adults, who aren’t even on the front lines, is palpable.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t say this to shame or diminish what anyone is feeling. In fact, I applaud these individuals for being so transparent.

Instead, I say all of this, to point out that some children struggle for much, much longer than thisso it’s no wonder they’re dysregulated. Many (or all) days test the limits of their self-control…because of environmental input that feels harsh to them, or social or academic experiences that most of us don’t even notice.

It’s time to change that.

All too familiar for some kids

When school closures & social distancing are over, don’t forget how stressed out the pandemic made people feel. Then, realize that some kids struggle with anxiety or depression; not for a few months, but every day, for years. A lack of self-control is what is often most visible.

Once this is all over, we must remember how Spring 2020 felt to many adults, so when we see a child repeatedly struggling, we know to dig deeper.

So that we know to investigate more…and assume less.

If we can’t always control and articulate our emotions when we’re under stress, how can kids possibly have the ability – or self-awareness – to do so?

As renowned child psychologist Ross Greene says, “kids do well when they can.”

If you have an opportunity to take advantage of it, some leading social-emotional learning experts are temporarily making their webinars free during school closures and social distancing. How awesome is that? Even if you only have time to watch one, it will give you more perspective and help guide the kiddos in your care.

For details, read Take social-emotional learning to the next level.

Like this article? You’ll enjoy common, but often overlooked, signs of an anxiety disorder, too. It includes insights from Seth Perler, executive-function and twice-exceptional coach, and awesome tips from Aileen Kelleher, LCSW, owner of Bloom Child and Teen Therapy in Chicago.

pattias