The pandemic did a number on all of us, but the effect it had on our kids was unique. In addition to being isolated from friends and most of their adult role models, so many of them lost critical in-school and social development time and were then expected to just pick up where they left off.

Younger children are struggling to regulate their emotions. Teens are suffering panic attacks. Kids of all ages are feeling more pressure, anxiety, and depression, and are resorting to unhealthy, impulsive behaviors to relieve stress, including substance use and self-harm. Many are increasingly withdrawing from the world around them, including their loved ones.

If this sounds familiar to you, you’re far from alone. The good news is that you can help, starting right in your own home.

Communication, as always, is key. Whether it’s at the dinner table or somewhere else, it’s so important to talk to each other and do things

together as a family. The more open the lines of communication, the better. You’ll be even more in tune to your kids, both in general and when something seems wrong. And if you want them to open up, you need to open up, as well. You can actually be a great role model simply by letting them see you as a real, vulnerable person with your own bad days.

When something is wrong, mindfulness goes a long way—for kids and parents alike. When frustrated, a distraction activity or thinking about something pleasant can bring momentary happiness and reset the brain. It’s OK to get angry or upset, but we need to control our behaviors and make decisions with a clear head. It can even help to let them pick their own healthy coping mechanism—happy thoughts, games, outdoor play, etc.

If needed, the experts at Rosecrance can provide a professional, empathetic ear that can get your child to open up a little differently, and with a clean slate. Kids are pretty resilient, and with the right support system, they’ll flourish. If that includes professional help, that’s OK. Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, only those who provide their kids everything they can: time, support, love, and all the tools they need.

If someone you know is—or has—a kid struggling with mental health issues, check out episode 7 of the Rosecrance podcast “On Your Radar,” which covers the mental health challenges our kids are facing post-pandemic, and the various ways we can help them.

Listen to “How Do We Help Our Kids?” HERE.


About Rosecrance
Hope is a powerful word. It brings people into treatment and helps keep them there – even when it’s hard. At Rosecrance, we take great care in creating hopeful, supportive environments that foster healing. It’s our mission to give our clients the best opportunity for lasting recovery.

With a long history of leadership in substance abuse and mental health care, Rosecrance has grown to more than 60 convenient locations across Chicago, northern Illinois and central Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. We are a private, not-for-profit organization offering comprehensive, nationally accredited, evidence-based addiction treatment and mental health treatment for children, teens, young adults and adults.

Recovery is possible when hope and determination meet evidence-based treatment delivered by caring, skilled professionals. Our highly trained, fully licensed, experienced and compassionate staff holds itself to the highest possible standards because we understand our efforts change – and save – lives every day.

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Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce
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West Chicago, IL 60185
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