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Doctor: "Kids Don't Need Reassurance, They Need Facts"

Thgusstavo Santana
Two kids wear face masks.

As the new school year begins, COVID-19 has forced local school districts to change course. And students' lives are in flux.  

Chris McCormick is the clinical director of Vera French Community Mental Health Center in Davenport. She says it's important for parents to be there for their kids, but coddling can do more harm than good.  

"Kids don't need reassurance. They need facts, and they need coping strategies. To falsely say to kids, 'Everything's fine, don't worry about it, you don't need to think about it,' is not helpful to them. But to be realistic and age appropriate in conversation is important."   

After months of cancelled proms, postponed sport seasons, and virtual graduations, McCormick says it's important for parents to manage their kids' disappointment in a healthy way. 

"Listen and talk to kids. Don't try to fix their disappointment, or suggest a solution to them, but kind of process with them, how can we work through this? We do need to think about that. Don't make victims out of our kids." 

McCormick says parents and kids alike should focus on what they can control and find healthy outlets for their anxieties. 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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