I am worried that my children might be getting “down” from being home and isolated. What should I watch out for and how can I help them?

It is no surprise that children are starting to have a realization that this is something that is not simply going away. In a past post, I talked about how humans seek an equilibrium and when we feel unbalanced it can affect our stress level. For some, it becomes detrimental to our day to day functioning.

The following are signs to watch for, especially if you are noticing them happening on a regular basis for a longer amount of time (two or more weeks):

  • Is your child crying excessively or becoming easily irritated?
  • Are you noticing your child regressing in their behaviors? (i.e.- having accidents after being potty trained)
  • Are they worried or sad often?
  • Are you noticing a major change in their eating or sleeping habits?
  • Are they having a difficult time with concentration or paying attention?
  • Are they not participating in activities that they used to like to do? (For this, you want to take into consideration what they like to do when home with the people that are in your home.)
  • Are they complaining about unexplained headaches or “tummy” aches? (Of course, we need to consider their physical health first.)

If you are seeing the above issues, please do not immediately think that there is “something” wrong. Instead, try these tools to see if they help your child with finding their “balance” again:

  • Safety first! In a time where even the grownups are wondering if everything is going to be alright, it is no surprise that our children are picking up on this too. Remember that your children need to know that they are safe and that you are going to do everything that you can to keep them that way. A good way to do this is narrating what you are doing and why. (i.e. – “Mommy is (action being taken) so that (child’s name) is safe.
  • Routine, routine, routine… I know you are probably thinking that it is too hard to keep a routine in such a time of chaos. But, it is so important for children to have a routine. When they know what to expect on a regular basis, it allows them to feel more in control of their environment. The older that the child is, the more you can let them help you with setting up that routine.
  • Limit screen time. In this day and age, we have access to media with a click of the button. Please set time limits for how long your children are in front of a screen. This includes phones, iPads, televisions, video gaming, laptops and anything else that makes your child stare at a screen. It is recommended that there be less than 2 hours of screen time a day. It is also important that you be involved with what the screen time is being used for. Limitations are necessary and there are many ways to add parental control / age restrictions on these devices. Try to watch any news regarding COVID-19 away from the children. It will likely help your stress levels to limit this type of news too.
  • Model. Your children learn so much by watching what you do and how you react to situations. As adults, we need to teach them in a safe and structured setting. We need to set examples and allow for as many options to positively connect with them as possible.
  • Take advantage of the time at home! This is probably the first time for many people that they have been home with their children without the need to take sick time or vacation time. Remind yourself how many times you had said I wish I could just take a day off and enjoy it with my family. Now is the time! So, go on those walks, have a scavenger hunt, play a board game, have a race, juggle with handkerchiefs, have a pretend tea party, play dress up, let your child give you a “makeover”, write a letter to someone they are missing and above all…LAUGH TOGETHER.

Remember that if you have any questions, send them to me at my e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I know how difficult this time is for everyone, but stay positive and remember that we will get through this together.

Heather Corriveau
Site Counselor and Social Worker