One of the biggest challenges that people have faced in the pandemic, is the feeling of uncertainty and anxiety. This has been a new experience for many people across generations as a result of which they may have been left feeling overwhelmed.
But, have adults and children been processing their feelings differently? Hollywood actor Drew Barrymore recently had an interaction with Dr Nia Heard-Garris, a paediatrician and a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and developmental psychologist and the host of Raising The Good Humans podcast, Dr Aliza Pressman on this subject, as part of her IGTV series on parenting.
On experiencing anxiety during coronavirus, they said that “nobody is fine right now”, naturally, because there is a lot going on. Pressman pointed out that kids do have a different way of handling stress, because they “don’t have the background or history”. “We’ve (as adults) lived many decades and can look to those experiences we’ve had for better or for worse, to know that we are going to get through this. And we can share that with them (our children),” she said.
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with Dr. Aliza Pressman of @raisinggoodhumanspodcast I listened to Nia speak during the Sesame Street town hall on racism and was so impressed with how eloquently and hopeful she spoke. We are thrilled that she joined us today to share her wisdom! Hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. #vicariousracism #antiracism #parenting #niasfirstinsta
To this, Heard-Garris said that parents are the child’s first filter. “So, it is even more important for us to check how we are feeling and to really make sure we are doing the things that feed our soul, because they are going to see that and feed off of our anxiety. And sometimes it makes it worse for them. Just trying really hard to be there for them, and help them name some of their emotions. Sometimes they are stressed and getting angry and irritable just like we are, and they are not sleeping or eating as well, and missing their friends…,” she shared.
On Express Parenting, we have earlier discussed that before we even attempt to help our children deal with their fears and anxieties, we must remember to work through our own apprehensions, fears and negativities first. This is something that parents need to understand. Children are extremely intuitive and can sense when we do not believe what we are telling them.
Parents also need to realise that that children experience worry, anxiety and fear due to a drastic cutdown in their social interaction. This can have an adverse effect on their socio-cultural development. So, it is important for them to primarily focus on keeping the child engaged to fight with anxiety and help them connect with their peers through digital platforms. On the one hand, where exposure to digital media needs to be restricted, these times have made the digital world a comforting place for all of us.
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