Counselor Corner

Children's Behavioral Responses

Most of us feel overwhelmed with the world right now. Many aspects of our lives are different and it feels like we're stuck in a bizarre dream. Children are also impacted by this pandemic.

They've been uprooted from the structure and routine of their daily lives, with no warning or chance to say goodbye. We are expecting them to adjust to a whole new learning environment, which can be a lot to process and doesn't feel 'normal' to them. They are expected to adjust to changing roles at home: parents/grandparents are now acting as teachers and siblings are sometimes left to act as parents when parents are working.

Add to that the frustration of hearing "I don't know" as the answer to many questions they have. We don't know when they will return to a school they love...we don't know when they'll see their teacher or friends in person again...we don't know yet if our summer vacation plans can still be enjoyed...we don't know when they'll get to play sports again...we don't know when they can visit grandma and grandpa again....we don't know when they can have another sleepover. All of this uncertainty is unsettling for adults and children alike.

Beyond all of that adjustment and frustration, I suspect people are dealing with the complex emotions of grief as well. Grief for a school year uprooted, grief for missing classmates and routine, grief that nothing seems 'the same' anymore. And foremost, grief for those lost to death. Grief is such a tricky experience...filled with different and complex emotions. Grief is hard for us to process through as adults, and it's certainly hard for little one's who haven't had the same variety of experiences that we have

All of this change and uncertainty, coupled with the fact that most children are not equipped with the insight and verbal ability to express their emotions, can lead to behavior changes and challenges. Remember, children tend to show us how they feel through their behavior.

The chart below shows behavioral reactions by age level, along with ideas for parents to support children at that age. If your child's behavior is concerning you or you aren't sure how to handle it, I am happy to chat with you about ideas. Feel free to call me at 717.885.1238.

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Help with Food and Basic Necessities

Help is being offered through the York Suburban Education Foundation/Impact Foundation. We are blessed to have a strong, active group of volunteers helping connect families to resources within our own district. Learn more about the YSEF here.

Use this link to the Impact Foundation COVID-19 page where you can learn about how to get help with food and basic household necessities.

Mental Health and Community Resources

PA Mental Health Support Line: 1-855-284-2494 (TTY: 724-631-5600)

York County Crisis Intervention: York Hospital (717) 851-5320 or 1-800-673-2496

  • Wellspan/Philhaven 717-632-4900

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454

Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741

Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990

Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): 1-800-662-4357

Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline – 1-888-772-7227

National Domestic Violence Helpline – 1-800-799-7233

Childline (for suspected child abuse/neglect) - 1-800-932-0313

MH/MR - 1-717-741-9618

Olivia’s House (for grieving children and families) - 1-717-699-1133

FIRST (free information and referral system) - 1-717-755-1000

York Food Bank - 717-846-6435

Previously Supplied Resources

Helping Kids Who are Worried About Coronavirus by Counselor Keri

30 things to do for your emotional health

Lego Challenge Calendar

Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza

Howard B Wigglebottom Learns it's OK to Back Away by Howard Binkow

When I'm Feeling Disappointed by Trace Moroney

I'm Bored by Michael Ian Black

When I feel sad **turn off volume and read this one to your child**

Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety - Shine, Inc

Anxiety Canada

Supporting Families During COVID19 - Child Mind Institute

COVID-19 Well Being Toolkit and Resources - Center for Healthy Minds

25 Mental Health Wellness Tips

PBS: How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus - Ideas for talking to your children and links to relevant clips from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Sesame Street, Curious George and Super Why.

Time to Come in, Bear - offers this short video to help young children understand social distancing.