The changes, limitations, stressors and missed opportunities have had significant impact to our children and teenagers. The long-range effect of being so isolated is full of disappointments in all that we are missing. For our kids it is the loss of friendships, social events, sports, school extracurricular activities and so much more. It is hard for kids not to be disappointed and angry at their circumstances which can often create stress and conflict in their families.
In a recent article on the Child Mind Institute website, Christina Frank provides some helpful tools for how to deal with disappointing situations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some quotes from the article:
Among the many painful effects of the coronavirus pandemic on children is the distress of losing the chance to participate in important events — sports playoffs, significant birthdays, school plays and graduations, or that big family trip to Disney World.
As the crisis goes on, even missing out on regular day-to-day activities, like sleepovers or going out for pizza, continues to be upsetting for many kids. And with summer on the horizon and kids wondering whether camp and other activities will be possible, the situation is getting tougher. Adults are going through some of the same kinds of difficulties, but they often have plenty of experience processing such challenges. Kids, on the other hand, may be experiencing these intense emotions for the first time.
“The disappointments are huge,” says Madeline Levine, PhD, author of Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain World. “We weren’t prepared for this, and we need to be incredibly compassionate.”
The specific letdowns will vary from child to child, as will their ability to cope with them, but experts in child development agree that the basic tools for managing disappointment are largely the same across age groups.
The tools provided fit very well with what we know children need during times of crisis and disappointment. Parents and caregivers can utilize these principles and tools to help quell some of the disappointment that is very predicable during this pandemic. Thank you to Christina Frank for publishing this helpful article.