Mental Health Monday: Helping kids manage anger

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 8:19 AM EDT
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There are a lot of life changes everyone is dealing with during the COVID-19 pandemic, which can cause heightened emotions.

"Most of us have experienced emotional distress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, like anger, sadness or fear," said Dana Cronkhite, Account Manager at Brynn Marr Hospital.

Cronkhite says the same is true for kids. She says children are also experiencing life changes, including change of events and not seeing their friends.

She says if you notice your child affected by this, it's important to talk to them first.

"It may be difficult to not offer input when our kids are expressing their emotions to us, but sometimes we just need to let them talk. We also need to remember though that kids may not be able to express their feelings to us in the same way that an adult would be able to express those feelings. We need to be able to ask questions to be able to really understand what they're feeling," said Cronkhite.

After talking with your child, Cronkhite says it is important to find out their triggers and symptoms. She says that could include an increased heart rate, tense body or even a child throwing things.

Once you understand your child's triggers, she says you can find healthy ways to help them cope. That includes anything from environmental adjustments or incorporating things that make them feel calm and happy, like a blanket or toy, into their daily routines.

Cronkhite says if it becomes too much to manage on your own, you can reach out to a physician or mental health expert at Brynn Marr Hospital for help.

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