It has been a year of displacement for our kids who have been in and out of school, doing school virtually and being limited in their ability to do normal things like going to parties and events, participating in athletics and other related activities. There have been so many losses and we are seeing the effects both in the mental health and the academic achievements of our students.
This Pandemic Wall is the subject of a recent new report by CNN’s Matt Villano. In this article Villano points to some of the research on cognitive overload and some of the deficits that have occurred in our students. Here are some quotes from this compelling article:
Kids have only a basic framework for processing disappointment, said Jaleel K. Abdul-Adil, associate professor of clinical psychology in psychiatry at The University of Illinois at Chicago. As pandemic-related disappointments have dragged on, kids are struggling to continue regulating themselves.
“Especially younger kids — they don’t know how to label and process the way they feel,” said Abdul-Adil, who also serves as co-director of the university’s Urban Youth Trauma Center. “So many of these pandemic restrictions are abstract, and kids have a tough time understanding that.”…
Looking at the frustrations that kids are experiencing in terms of loss, the notion of kids hitting a wall has become a manifestation of the grieving process, according to Jennifer Kelman, a clinical social worker and family therapist with a private practice in Boca Raton, Florida….
“It’s almost as if the hope and wonderment that kids walk around with naturally has dimmed because (the pandemic) hasn’t ended for them yet,” Kelman said. “Their sense of time is different than our sense of time as adults. They live their lives in a series of events: practice, dance recital or someone’s party. None of those things have happened normally in a year.”
The article further describes how kids are stuck in specific stages of grief and how parents and caregivers can help their kids with strategies for regulation and open discussion about what is going on for their child.
I hope parents will find this report to be helpful.