NEW YORK — There’s no doubt that this is probably one of the most polarizing election years in history.
The tension can cause anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association, two in three adults say this election has been a major source of worry. Now health experts say that stress could also affect our children.
Child and adult psychiatrist Dr. Judith Joseph has some advice for parents to help manage their children’s anxiety during this time of unrest.
She says it starts with communication. When there’s a lot of stress in the environment, Dr. Joseph says that also cause the cortisol levels to also go up causing you to lose focus. It’s important to talk to your children to find out how they’re feeling.
Next, use the election as a teaching moment and reassure them they are safe no matter the outcome. Create a project that involves kids learning about the voting process and how government works. Also, limit news exposure. Getting too much screen time can only lead to more anxiety.
Furthermore, while creating a large change may be a bit of a stretch, Dr. Joseph urges parents to be honest about what’s happening in the world and focus on empowering our youth by allowing them to give back locally.
Finally, encourage kids to keep a journal. Writing will also help them manage sleep and anxiety, further putting them on the right path to getting through these rough times worry free.