Childhood Interrupted- Raising Kids During a Pandemic: A Book Review

I’m always excited to review books that can be used as resources for my clients and their parents. Today, I’m excited to share some of the insights that I gained from Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s latest book, Childhood Interrupted- Raising Kids During a Pandemic.

I see a lot of adolescents at my therapy practice and many of the parents of these kids have a lot of worries as we’ve navigated what 2020 has thrown at us. Given that my one child is barely 8 months old, I was excited to see what Dr. Gupta had to say about parenting during these unprecedented times, as he’s the father of 3 adolescent girls ages 15, 13, and 11.

Insights Gained

I found it interesting that trauma and resilience are encoded into our DNA. What we experience and how we respond can then be passed down; which means that what’s happening now will impact future generations on a biological level! COVID 19 has impacted everyone but Gupta focuses specifically on how childhood development is being impacted (he’s a neuroscientist, so he specializes in how the brain works.)

Gen Z’s (those born in 1995 or later) entire way of life has changed rapidly: school, relationships, and milestones such as birthdays and graduations. Caregivers of kids and adolescents are in a tough spot, as we don’t have all the answers. We’ve never dealt with something like this before and there’s a ton of conflicting information about all aspects of this pandemic. Young people are looking to us to answer questions like, “When will this be over?” or “When will things go back to normal?” In response, we must model calming and coping strategies.

How to Help Kids and Teens to Build Resilience

Parents are in a great position to help kids build resilience, as they’re likely spending more time with them now than prior to the pandemic. Caregivers are also tasked with helping to pick up the slack, as young people encounter multiple losses, especially the reduction in social interaction.

The following are some skills caregivers can use:

  • It goes without saying, but showing kids love, empathy, and support during these times is crucial to building resilience.
  • Sleep is super important for young people, especially during a crisis.
  • Young people need your support in establishing consistent routines, which instills a sense of order and stability in a chaotic world.
  • While caregivers need to be honest about the challenges we all face, it’s essential to take time for gratitude and to pay attention to the things that are going well despite the chaos.
  • “Kids will judge your actions more than your intentions.”

Conclusion

I listened to the audiobook version of this book and found it to be a wealth of information (less than an hour from start to finish). I highly recommend as we can all use insights that give us hope that we will make it through this.

Thanks for reading!

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