Extra stress with children at home during this epidemic

There's no doubt this is a crucial time for family stress to rise considering many people are stuck inside with their families during this quarantine. There's also no doubt that having young children at home is causing a lot of stress to parents as they are not prepared to watch their kids 24/7.

Melanie Smith-Sanders, a mom of a 6-year-old child who attends Burris School in Muncie is working from home. As a social worker, she has a babysitter working around the clock so she can focus on her clients.

"I've unfortunately noticed my daughter getting an attitude more than normal," Smith-Sanders said. "I think it's because she's honestly trapped inside, she can't play with any of her friends, and her brain honestly isn't being stimulated in the same way."

Smith-Sanders and the babysitter have both tried to find fun ways for the 6-year-old to use her energy such as taking walks at Prairie Creek Reservoir and around the neighborhood and finding miscellaneous art activities indoors. Some families are still able to take their kids to daycare/preschool, though, if they are considered "essential workers" such as food service, hospital and emergency personnel, banks, etc.

Lori Robinson, a preschool teacher for KinderCare in South Bend, Indiana, is unemployed because KinderCare closed.

"I think it's interesting that they are keeping only some KinderCares open," Robinson said. "I understand that we need to protect these children and their parents are working hard but for some of us, it puts us out of a job. This has caused so much anxiety for me as a woman in her 50s, it'll be a little bit more difficult for me to find a job after this all blows over."

Robinson is among millions who are without a job in this epidemic and hopes this will all be over soon. She has filed for unemployment three times and been denied every time. At this rate, she says that she will have to start looking for another job and possibly quit her "current" one, under the circumstances. (Did she say why it was denied?)

"I loved working with kids and knowing that I can be that person that is a safe haven for them especially in times during these, but it comes down to taking care of my family before anything else," Robinson said.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently announced that the stay-at-home order in Indiana will continue through May 1. President Donald Trump, the CDC, and other medical personnel are working to try to build a strategic plan to allow everything to go back to "normal." The question is, will there be a new normal? As for Smith-Sanders and Robinson, both are continuously trying to fight the stagnant lives that they are currently living and hope that things turn around soon, for everyone.

For more information on COVID-19 and children, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#COVID-19-and-Children.

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