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This year has been challenging for almost everyone, including kids. Now that we’ve arrived at the end of the year, your kids may be feeling the impact of this trying year.

QMG Pediatric Behavioral Health Therapist Amy Hasting said that kids have experienced an upheaval in their normal lives due to changes such as virtual learning and social distancing.

“While children are typically very resilient, the world is much different than it was a year ago – and that can be difficult for children to adjust to,” said Hasting.

As the pandemic continues and restrictions remain in place, children’s social interactions have been impacted.

“Most children are used to the holidays being a time to enjoy with extended family and friends, but with COVID restrictions family gatherings may be limited,” Hasting said. “Along with remote learning for some students, children are experiencing less contact with friends. Holiday break might be limited to doing things with immediate family instead of meeting up with friends which can also be a difficult adjustment.”

To support your children, Hasting said communication and making the most of this time is important.

“Parents can help their children by being open with them and communicating family plans ahead of time. Also, parents being creative and planning more family activities (less electronics) is likely to help their children during this time.”

Some examples of interactive family activities include baking cookies, taking a drive to look at Christmas lights, movie nights, sledding/snowboarding, allowing your child to help plan meals and cooking them together, board games, crafting, drawing/writing letters to family and friends, or even building a blanket fort. Hasting said to be creative and involve your children.

If parents have concerns regarding their children, Hasting recommends speaking to your pediatrician or a behavioral health therapist.  For more information on Quincy Medical Group’s Behavioral Health services and team, call 217-222-6550, ext. 3418 or visit quincymedgroup.com.