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Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams Tells GMA How To Prepare Kids For A Return To “Normal”

New York Trend founder and publisher Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams recently appeared on “Good Morning America” to discuss how to help children deal with the pandemic. In a segment titled “Easing Children’s anxieties as we return to normal,” Dr. Williams spoke of how to spot signs that you child in experiencing anxiety due to the pandemic and how to prepare them for a return to normal. It was one of many appearances Dr. Williams has made on the popular ABC morning show.

Here is the transcript of the segment:

GMA: There may be some anxiety that comes along with it, and I recently spoke with psychotherapist Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams on how to address it.

GMA: Doctor, good morning to you. It’s great to have you. Many of our kids have been staying close to home for more than a year now, and things are starting to reopen with much they may have some fears associated with all of that. What are signs that our kids may be experiencing some anxiety?

Dr. Williams: A few signs are loss of appetite, loss of interest and enjoyment in things that they normally would enjoy doing, sleep issues, you know, not sleeping through the night, maybe having some bad dreams. Also being aggressive, and noting be able to focus academically or even in conversations that they’re having with their parents. So it’s important to recognize these things, but we want our kids to also get out there, and socialize, be kids. We also want them to feel safe with everything that’s going on. How do we address that? We address that by having communication with them, encourage them, and we can encourage them by having a conversation and explaining that as their parent, we have been able to go to the facility, go to the camp, maybe they’re going to be in a little day care program. We have made sure that their safety is your number one concern.

GMA: What about the transition to larger social situations like summer camps are coming up, and of course, the school year?

Dr. Williams: I recommend that we take baby steps, that children get out and start to either gather together at people’s homes in their backyards. Parents can get together and organize play groups, and then introduce them to larger gatherings, and as we introduce them back into the larger population, their anxiety should ease. Of course, with all of this, communication is the key to the transition. Talk about the importance of that. Communication is absolutely key. Listen to them, and then let them know that they can trust you to respond to their feelings. So if they say, you know what? I don’t want to go back to this, or I’m not ready, give them a moment and say, okay. Let’s take a beat, and we will try this again.

GMA: Great advice, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.