BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In May of 2020, 7 News Anchor Jeff Russo spoke with a group of Western New York young people to get a glimpse of the pandemic through their eyes. 19 months later we are following up with 10 year old Nicholas Stewart and 19-year-old Aliyah Hodges to see how they have navigated the challenges of COVID-19.
Keith Klosterman is a licensed marriage and family therapist at Wheatfield Pediatrics in North Tonawanda. Klosterman says many kids have done remarkably well. "The one thing about kids is that they are incredibly resilient," says Klosterman.
Still Klosterman says he has seen increased numbers in kids and families looking for support for issues including anxiety and depression. In fact the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that childhood and adolescent depression and anxiety doubled during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Klosterman says communication remains key for families. "Really trying to understand the kids experiences. Not to tell them that everything is fine, everything is going to be OK but to really sit with them and hold space in the fact that it has been tough."
Klosterman suggests these tips for parents and families
- Have open communication about what kid are going through
- If behavior is out of character try and understand what is going on
- Understand that many kids are afraid to talk about issues
- Don't be judgmental
- Consult a pediatrician or school if extra support is needed