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angle-left COVID-19 Q&A: Tina Montreuil on helping children cope with anxiety

“It is not only what you say that matters, but what you do”

May 21, 2020

Source: McGill Reporter. Parents are troubled by many questions about the impact of COVID-19 on their children’s mental health. From the general to the specific, these may include:

How does stress manifest itself in children and teens? What signs should we be looking for?

What are the short- and long-term implications of extended periods of anxiety in children and teens?

How do we help mitigate their overall stress and worry?

Our radio is on all day long, and there are always updates on the situation. Is this OK or should we limit our child’s exposure to media?

How much should we talk about COVID-19 to our children? What is an appropriate age to talk to my kids about COVID-19? How do we respond to their questions about the situation without increasing their anxiety?

In an ongoing series of interviews with McGill experts on COVID-19 issues, Tina Montreuil looks at these and other concerns that parents express. She discusses how to recognize if your children are feeling stress and the steps you can take to help them better cope with the situation.

Tina Montreuil is a member of the Child Health and Human Development Program at the Research Institute of the MUHC
Tina Montreuil is a member of the Child Health and Human Development Program at the Research Institute of the MUHC

“I cannot speak enough about the importance of modelling and setting the example for our children… It is not only what you say that matters, but what you do,” she advises.

Tina Montreuil is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and an associate member of the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. She is also an associate investigator at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Read the Q&A