Requiring adjustments on so many levels in the ways we live our lives (and still does well in 2021!). I was able to see firsthand how this upheaval, this disruption of life on such a large scale, affected our littlest people, our children. Children are so resilient, there’s no doubt about that, but we can’t underestimate how much this pandemic has affected their mental health. Whether it be the stress of home-schooling and the drastic change to their routine, the feeling of loss from not being able to see their friends and family or celebrate milestones, the fear of the unknown as they looked around and saw masked faces, playgrounds closed and scary scenes on the news, the worry of seeing their family stressed over the loss of work or having to work from home whilst caring for children. The list goes on. When we look at it like this you can see just how many changes our children had to get used to in such a short amount of time. Some children may have seemed to get out of this relatively unscathed, whilst others suffered immensely. There is no doubt though that all children have been affected in varying degrees in one way or another. The lasting effects of this will continue to stay with them and we need to ensure that we are being proactive in keeping the lines of communication open and talking to our children about how they are feeling and if they need some help.
Even prior to the pandemic, as both a teacher and Mum I could see that anxiety was such a prevalent part of a lot of children’s reality. Our lives are becoming increasingly busy, and the pressures on us as adults and our children continue to build. Now, perhaps more than ever we need to equip our children with the skills and knowledge to cope with anxiety in a world that does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. It is particularly hard to converse about anxiety with young children and to explain it in a way that helps them understand and cope with it. This was the reason behind writing my first children’s book. My hope is that this book will be a highly effective tool in starting the conversation with children about anxiety in an easy-to-understand way and that equips them with tools to cope and deal with anxiety. I also hope that it can enhance children’s understanding of who they are at their essence. I hope it will help them know that the thoughts circling around in their minds are not who they are, and that they are the ones aware of those thoughts and they can exercise much more choice about them.