As a parent, this scares the hell out of me:
“There’s more family conflict because of the pandemic. That is leading to stress, acting out, increased suicidal thoughts in the kids,” says David Axelson, chief of psychiatry at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. Axelson says visits to his hospital’s psychiatric crisis department, for emergencies including suicidal thoughts, aggression and psychosis, were up 14% this fall and winter from a year earlier.
Particularly delicate are the years from 8 to 14. The years around puberty are ones of greater neuroplasticity, when the brain is particularly sensitive to external events and learning experiences. It is when children begin to form their identities and start to separate from their parents. It is also when mental-health issues such as depression and eating disorders can emerge.
“This is a pivotal time,” says Ronald E. Dahl, director of the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. “The capacity for high-intensity emotional learning is enhanced. You’re thinking for yourself and developing certain kinds of proclivities and mind-sets.”
Both positive and negative experiences, particularly social ones, land harder. And they start to shape children’s trajectories. Children who struggle with schoolwork and don’t get positive feedback may start to feel that school is “not you,” says Dr. Dahl. They may stop trying academically, which only reinforces that perception. “You start constraining your pathways, beginning to actively select these paths and avoiding other ones,” he says.via WSJ
Sue and I talk every single day about the impact of the last year on our 3 kiddos and how it’s transformed their trajectory in ways that we can’t even imagine.
And it’s already costing us quite a bit of time and money; our yearly budget for therapy and counseling has skyrocketed as 4 out of 5 folks in this family are getting treatment in some form and fashion.
I won’t forget this season:
The price is steep but we believe that it’s worth it. For the sake of their future and for those that they serve.