How to help children transition out of COVID-19 restrictions

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With COVID-19 restrictions easing, many people are coming out of pandemic isolation.

For some, that's proving to be more stressful than expected, and that includes kids.

For more than a year, the "new normal" included masks, social distancing, and for many children, virtual school.

Some kids may be excited about change, but others, experts say, are a bit more hesitant.

"If the expectation has been one thing for a year or more, and suddenly it changes, we can't just expect kids to adapt and not understand why," says Jody Baumstein, a licensed therapist at Children's Healthcare Of Atlanta.

Experts recommend first, simply talking to them. Ask them what they know, and make sure they have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Also, make sure they know what they can expect.

"If a policy or practice has changed at school or a camp or somewhere in the community that they're used to going over the past year, help them to understand what it is going to be like when they go next time," Baumstein said.

Let them know that they can always talk about how they are feeling.

And lastly, be honest.

The past year has been uncertain, stressful, and sometimes confusing for many. So assure your child that everyone is navigating this together.

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