WORCESTER, Mass. - As the country approaches two full years of living through a pandemic, parents, teachers, and lawmakers are all concerned about kids' mental health.
Governor Charlie Baker has said he will not go back to remote learning because children need to be in school. But some kids may still be feeling the impacts of the uncertainty of the future.
Dr. Jessica Griffin, executive director of the Child Trauma Training Center at UMass Chan Medical School said if you notice kids acting out, there are steps parents and teachers can follow. Dr Griffin calls them the “3 Rs:" reassurance, routines, regulation.
“So reassuring children that at the end of the day they’re safe, they are loved, and the grown-ups are doing everything they can to make sure those things happen. That they are continuing to be safe and taken care of,” Dr. Griffin said. “The second “R” is routines. Children benefit very much from having routines, things that are predictable. It sends signals to the brain that they are safe.”
“Regulation happens in two ways, first by calming the body's stress response. The other part of regulation for children is teaching feelings or talking about feelings."
Dr Griffin says it's important to connect with kids and then redirect them to focus on positive things.