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How the pandemic, holidays could impact your child’s mental health – Health News Today – Nasqhino
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Health News Today

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How the pandemic, holidays could impact your child’s mental health – Health News Today

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The pressures of the pandemic combined with the winter months could take a toll on both you and your child’s mental health.

“The holidays are going to look very different, it’s going to be disappointing and even devastating for some, but being able to talk through that and identify new traditions, identify traditions you can carry forward in new ways can be a really good starting point,” said Sara Wilson, a licensed psychologist and the System Director for Youth Training and Consultation with Burrell Behavioral Health.

Wilson said if your child is feeling disappointed or sad this holiday season, they’re not alone. She said one of the best things you can do to help is to include them in the conversation as you make new holiday plans.

”Being mindful of their emotions, so allowing them to feel disappointed, allowing ourselves as adults to feel sad, angry, worried and all of those things and then allowing our kids to feel what they’re feeling,” Wilson explained.

Warning signs that your child could be experiencing anxiety or depression typically present themselves as a change in behavior, like withdrawing from activities, irritability, and sleeping too much or too little. Wilson said those aren’t the only ways to identify that there is a problem.

”For a lot of us, kids in particular, we notice there may be emotional distress through some physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches, if they’re withdrawing from friends or activities or not seeming like they’re interested in the things they used to be interested in,” she said.

Wilson said one of the best things parents can do is make mental health a normal topic of conversation at home. That could mean asking how your child’s day has been or how they’re feeling. If you notice any changes, Wilson said don’t be afraid to ask about it.

”Being curious, and asking those questions with compassion and without judgment as best as we can,” Wilson said. “Just simply ‘I noticed that you may be feeling in this way’ or ‘I noticed you missed a coupled of assignments last week and that’s not really like you, what’s going on?”

As we near winter break for many school districts in the Ozarks, that could mean time away from friends. Wilson said it’s important to keep that in mind as we approach the holidays, and try to make sure your child isn’t feeling isolated at home.

“Being particularly mindful to check in, spending quality time, focusing on quality time,” she recommended. “With some of our lost connection opportunities and the holidays looking very different, one of the best things we can do is just simply focusing on that quality time with our immediate family members. “

Mental health resources for adults, teens and children:

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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