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Psychologist explains how the pandemic is impacting kids

"It's difficult, it's stressful," psychologist Heather Soyer said of the pandemic. "So I think first just giving yourself grace. It's okay that you made a mistake."

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every single one of us in some way or another. Most certainly in our kids.

"We are seeing more challenges in particular in later elementary age children and adolescents," said Heather Soyer, a psychologist at Blank Children's Hospital.

And our kids aren't immune to the stresses and changes.

Soyer belives the first step to help your child is to de-stigmatize mental health.

"How they're feeling how they're doing, what do they think of all this? You know, just like they ask them what they're learning in school, what they did with friends that day, making this part of the everyday conversation," she said. 

And it can be hard to keep our own stress and frustration away from our kids.

Our actions have a real impact.

"It's really easy to be hard on ourselves right now. We're juggling, our hands are tied behind our back, and we're blindfolded and we're going on two hours of sleep," Soyer added. "And so we're trying to do all these things and be superhuman. And we're going to mess up. It's difficult, it's stressful. And so I think first just giving yourself grace, that it's okay that you made a mistake."

Some parents are asking about the impact of isolation and masks on a child's development.

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"One of the things we know from research is that kids are resilient, you know, they're malleable, and they are able to modify how they respond," Soyer said. "So, you know, things like wearing a mask, certainly, facial expressions are one way that we are interacting, that we're picking up cues from other people. But we can also be picking up those same cues fro mother gestures ... from the tone of voice, from eyes."

One of the easiest things you can do as a parent for your child is to celebrate the positives of the pandemic.

"I think for a lot of kiddos, you know, in particular, younger kiddos this year may have actually felt fantastic for them. And that mom or dad was now at home more frequently, they were able to spend that special time, have more bonding with mom or dad, maybe the family was able to do more things outdoors because they weren't running from activity to activity."

Watch more coronavirus coverage from Local 5 on YouTube