Working together to handle child regression during the pandemic | Celebree School

Hello Celebree Families, I’m Stefanie Shurer, Director of Training for Celebree Schools. 

Many of you know me as Ms. Stefanie from the Celebree Connect Series.  The last few months have been difficult for each of you, your families, and our communities, but it’s definitely taken a unique toll on our children. Have you noticed any changes in your child’s behaviors… throwing tantrums, changes in sleep, experiencing bathroom accidents, or being more clingy?  I know my children have been experiencing 5 moods in 30secs!  

Sometimes, behavioral changes and regressive development is our children’s way of coping during such stressful and scary times. This is especially true for preschoolers, who are acquiring skills that will help shape their personality, thought process, and social interactions.  This can be even more difficult for those beginning the transition towards elementary school.  It’s a time they start becoming more independent and focus on creating and developing new social bonds and relationships. Any disruptions to these areas of development, such as this current pandemic can cause them to “retreat back to safety and ask for additional comfort.”

As parents, you have had the opportunity to spend more time with your children and are  probably more familiar with the nuances in their behavior more now than ever. I certainly know I am!  Behavioral experts and child psychologists say that these periods of regression are to be expected. So, look at these changes as signals that your child is looking for more support and comfort.  Our role as educators and care providers is to work with you to help our children understand and process their feelings and emotions and provide them the comfort they need.

Knowing this, what can we do together? A Yale Child Study listed the following points on how we can support each of our children:

  • Be comfortable knowing that regression will happen. Don’t be shocked by it, and reassure your child, as well as yourself.
  • Recognize that your child may be struggling and acknowledge those behaviors as part of that struggle.
  • Set aside one on one time with your child to cuddle, play games or relax.
  • Support and celebrate your child’s attempts to achieve a new milestone or embrace a challenge.

As educators here at Celebree, we have been actively taking these steps as part of our commitment to caring and educating our children. We continue to take into account these changes, such as this pandemic, to support the changing needs of the children in our care.  By maintaining their routines, a sense of normalcy and comfort, and a continuity of learning in a safe and healthy environment, we can meaningfully work together to ensure that our children are progressing and developing.

Actively promoting positive childhood experiences are at the heart of what we do here as we continue to approach each child’s development holistically.

I can’t begin to describe the level of emotional support and empathy that our teachers apply to handling these and all changes.  Please remember that we are all in this together, and I look forward to seeing you join our Celebree Family.