With constant news on the pandemic, closures and cancellations, along with constant messaging on how to avoid infection, to say this situation is overwhelming is an understatement. In fact, Dr. Marcia Slattery, UW Health Professor of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and Director of the UW Anxiety Disorders Program, finds that the Coronavirus has created high levels of anxiety and stress for not just adults but for kids too. “It is out of the norm for everyone. The whole situation unfolded so quickly, leaving many people feeling shocked and in uncharted territory.”
The holidays can be a time of fun and lots of festivities. But what people often underestimate is how stressful they can be for both adults and kids. Winter break, traveling to see family, late nights with friends can all take their toll.
But, Dr. Marcia Slattery, UW Health child and adolescent psychiatrist and director of the UW Anxiety Disorders Program explains that what’s really at the root of the stress is that we lose our daily routine. Read more
When reflecting on the recent election, perhaps the one thing everyone can agree on is that there were intense emotions throughout the entire process. And while that intensity continues to play out in the news – and perhaps even among families – many parents may feel at a loss for how to explain to kids what is happening, and why.
Dr. Marcia Slattery, UW Health child and adolescent psychiatrist and director of the UW Anxiety Disorders Program, explains that what kids are noticing the most is the depth and degree of emotion – and even division – that people on both sides have felt. And that is what is creating confusion, and feelings of fear and uncertainty.
It seems like all school year long kids can’t wait for summer break. And just as soon as the family really starts to enjoy it, it’s August and time to start making the transition back.
Aside from the disappointment of vacation coming to an end, the start of school can be a source of anxiety for many kids as they worry about the unpredictable – who will be in their class, who will they have for teachers, if the work will be too hard for them. And this is especially true for kids who may be moving to new schools with the transition from kindergarten to first grade, elementary to middle school, or middle to high school. But there are ways parents can help.
How can having no school, going to bed when they want, and sleeping in be causing kids anxiety? It may seem counter intuitive, but it’s true. And if your kids are showing signs of being restless, irritable and maybe even reluctant to go do things , chances are they may be feeling anxious. Kids need a framework for their day. If there’s ambiguity – too much unstructured time or unpredictability – there’s increased anxiety.