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Pediatrician shares advice on helping kids deal with emotional toll of pandemic

Pediatrician Krishnan Subrahmanian says rituals and resilience can help with kids and their mental health.

Six-year-old Henry has been stuck at home for about two months.

"I do worry about that," said mom Sara Pudlick.

She says at first it was okay, but as each day goes by it gets more challenging.

"It's hard because he misses his friends. He misses having the routine of getting up in the morning and going to school," said Pudlick.

She's worried about the emotional toll this will take on her son.

"It's scary and I feel bad for these kids," said Pudlick.

"Our routines our day to day life have been stopped and altered and we're forced to adjust," said Krishnan Subrahmanian.

He is a pediatrician at Hennepin Healthcare and a father himself. He wrote a blog about children's mental health during this pandemic.

He highlights two words "rituals" and "resilience."

He advises parents to spend just 15-20 minutes of their day, just you and your child.

Create rituals in your daily routine, like Facetiming with grandparents or having a movie night.

"Going for a walk everyday with our family that is ritual that is going to live on and help build resilience in kids," Subrahmanian said. "Rituals of having a meal together and everyday matters."

Subrahmanian says this will have everlasting positive impacts on children.

What we're helping kids with is developing a strategy and developing a skill set so when the challenging thing comes their way, they'll be prepared," Subrahmanian said. 

Pudlick says she has developed a daily routine or ritual with Henry.

"We spend a lot of time outside, thank goodness it's spring," Pudlick said. 

Subrahmanian says it's important to let kids know help is out there. Here are some resources for parents.

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