Many Canadian children are beginning to re-enter the world after 10 weeks closer to home than ever before, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether they’re returning to school and the playground or reuniting with extended family and friends, the transition can bring up a lot of emotions. We reached out to three experts to find out how parents can ease this transition.

Big change brings big emotions

“Anytime a child is anxious, you’re going to start seeing a change from their baseline behaviour and that can be different in different kids,” says parenting author Alyson Schafer. “Some kids will want to stay clingy and be with their security person. Other kids kind of just internalize things and then they can just actually get so flooded with their anxiety that that freeze, flee, flight part of the brain goes off. Some kids get incredibly angry and aggressive and sometimes it’s hard to connect the dots because it can be brewing for a while until finally it’s too much.”

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Schafer advises parents to check in with their children if they notice changes in sleep or more pronounced self-soothing behaviour,