Psychologist shares tips to help reduce your child’s stress during the pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. — The pandemic has been rough on all of us, especially children. 

According to the CDC, more children went to the emergency room in 2020 for a mental health-related issue than in 2019. 

Spokane Public Schools hosted a webinar on Thursday to help parents, help their children. 

Child psychologist and author Dr. Michele Borba says it’s important to let your children know we’ll get through the pandemic, and it’s going to take work from everyone in the family. 

The key is to recognize that your child needs help. We all go through some sort of stress, whether it’s from work, money problems, or family issues. The pandemic makes it worse. 

Dr. Borba wrote ‘THRIVERS: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine.’ 

“We do know that the pandemic is impacting our kids and it means we, as a group of parents, need to put a, maybe a reset button on what do our kids really need so they can get through all of this, so they do thrive and they will,” said Dr. Borba. 

Borba says there are several things you can do to help your child through this hard time. 

First, track their stress on a calendar. How, when and why did it happen. 

“It may be the prime moment to be able to watch your kid and say what is he needing that can help him,” said Borba. “Not just now, but the rest of their life.” 

The ability to teach coping skills will go a long way, according to Borba. 

“In the next couple of weeks, calmly identify each person’s stress signs in your own home,” said Borba. 

Come up with a positive family mantra. Your positive mindset and lowered stress level will help your child. 

“If you the parent keep saying the same mantra over and over and over again… pretty soon your voice becomes their voice,” said Borba. 

Also, teach them to take slow, deep breaths to handle stress. While these are only a few tips, Borba says don’t try them all at once. Take one step at a time and stick to it for three weeks. 

“Choose one little thing that you think is going to make a difference for your family,” said Borba. “Kids will thrive if we teach them how.”