The COVID-19 pandemic has placed school teachers and administrators in the unenviable position of making extraordinarily complex decisions with incomplete and changing scientific data, clashing public health and political leadership and threats, extremely caring but concerned parents, anxious children, and potentially competing personal priorities—protecting their livelihood and preserving their own health and wellness while caring for our children.
“Mommy, I can’t sleep. Can I come and snuggle in your bed?” Anyone experiencing this question these days? Are your children experiencing bad dreams? eating disorders? emotional outbursts? lack of attention to homework or even play? negative thoughts? nail biting, hair pulling, repeatedly running to the bathroom? School has not even begun again yet, but signs and symptoms of anxiety in children may be insidiously creeping into your child’s life and the life of your family.
There is no question that we love our children and want to do everything we can to protect them in this uncertain, anxious time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is natural for us, as parents and grandparents, to default to protection mode. Older and wiser, yet also facing anxiety in these uncertain times, we may try to protect our children by attempting to solve their problems and distresses for them, reduce or avoid the worries that trigger anxiety in them, or even try to organize and engineer their lives to block worry.