As life returns to the ‘new normal’, a psychiatrist offers tips on how to help children readjust

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As life starts to slowly return to the new normal, children and adults may feel overwhelmed with these new changes.

Dr. Scott Carroll, a psychiatrist, said it all comes down to human habits.

“Any kind of significant change— changing jobs, moving, all that kind of stuff bothers us,” he said. “You know we are creatures of habit, whether we like to admit it or not.”

As creatures of habit, people were forced to adapt to the pandemic. However, as things shift yet again, feelings of anxiety may arise.

“Change is always anxiety provoking,” Dr. Carroll said.

“I work with a lot of kids, and so they’re actually quite anxious about going back to school. I mean, a few are really excited, but I’d say the majority of my patients are actually anxious about it,” he added.

In other words, Dr. Carroll said it might take a while for people to readjust. He also said that the nation’s most recent mass shootings might also prolong that adjustment period for some people.

“Usually it’s to my most anxious patients that will latch on to some piece of information like that and really get focused on i and get overwhelmed by it, but the vast majority of my patients don’t,” he said.

So what should parents do and say if their children are expressing concern?

“We’re here to keep you safe. You don’t have to worry about that. That’s more for like younger children. Once you started getting middle school and high school, a lot of it is reminding them unfortunately of, you know, what to do in shooting situations,” he said.