Dealing with children's anxiety from the coronavirus

The unknown causes fear and anxiety, and that's what we've all been dealing with since March. For school-aged kids a lack of routine and long-term planning can lead to all kinds of challenges. 

It's important to help kids handle their concerns, but how?  It's been a rollercoaster of a year for students.

Many kids have spent months learning from home due to COVID-19 and some of them may be returning back to class in the weeks ahead -- which is sure to cause some anxiety.

"Let them know what it's going to look like. what are the changes going to be," said Dr. Ethan Benore, Cleveland Clinic. "Not in a scary way, but in a matter-of-fact way. They're going to be doing temperature checks, people are going to be wearing masks, you may have some scheduled seating. things are going to look a little bit different."

Dr. Benore is a pediatric psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's. He says you'll want to let children know they're safe and that the school is making these changes to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

For example, you can explain that wearing a mask is a lot like having to wash your hands, or looking both ways before crossing the street. 
he says it's also important to check in on a child's mental health during this time.
"If you're having these conversations regularly, it doesn't feel so weird when there is a problem," he said. "If you have a thought or a concern, ask, bring it up. if it's nothing, that's okay. but your child might feel even more comfortable if they come back to you two weeks later and there is something there."

He says a lot of people are struggling right now, so be sure to show compassion, not only with your own kids but with their teachers too. they're dealing with the same kinds of challenges.