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How to connect with your kids on a more personal level

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Posted at 4:53 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 09:10:08-05

Are your kids struggling from the stress of COVID-19 too? You can connect with your kids on a more personal level with the help of our ABC15 Health Insider.

A change in routine, limited time with loved ones and friends, and no real answers about the future -- all of these can bring real stress to young children. In fact, the uncertainty has become emotionally traumatizing for so many kids.

According to our ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Andrea Raby, when children face trauma at a developmental stage, the effects can be long-lasting, but they don't have to be.

The Valley-based psychiatrist is a mother of five. She shares how we can help our kids by allowing them to feel free to express their own emotions.

“We can see how COVID-19 has been affecting our children, and so I think that being open and honest... listening, not lecturing... setting the stage for the kids to feel that they can come and talk to whomever.”

She also says, “That's a real big take-home message -- to make sure that right off the bat, we're gonna be there for them and help them to be proactive."

Because conversations like this may be tough she suggests a simple conversation starter.

“So maybe opening it up and saying something very benign, like, 'hey, I've noticed that maybe you're not talking to so and so anymore. What’s going on with that?' And making it a non-judgmental type of opening so they're a little bit more inclined to not fear that and open up on their own."

The mental health professional offers a gentle reminder too, saying, the moment kids potentially feel that you're going to start lecturing, they will shut down.

The mission of ABC15's Health Insider series is to dive deeper into the things impacting your health and the health of those around you. We're going in-depth with expert advice from people who know it, see it every day in their work and study it. Have a story idea? Contact the team at