CLEVELAND — Parents can take dress-up to a whole new level to show children they truly are superheroes in the middle of a crisis.
There are ways struggling parents can tackle the ever-present anxiety that comes with living in a pandemic.
“We’ve had a record number of phone calls from parents,” said Sarah Rintamaki, Connecting for Kids.
From behavioral issues to crippling fear, moms and dads are turning to Connecting for Kids for help.
“Kindergartners throwing their chrome books against the wall, worried about wearing a mask. Parents are really struggling in Northeast Ohio,” said Rintamaki.
The parent education and support group link families to psychiatrists and psychologists, like Cate Brandon, who says anxiety is not something to avoid.
"It alerts us that something is important, and it can help us be more focused and attentive to that," said Brandon.
The psychologist encourages children to harness that energy to solve problems.
“Channeling that anxiety in a more positive direction can then help the kid feel empowered," said Brandon.
It's the approach Michelle Sokol takes with her five children.
“Their needs are never-ending," said Sokol.
During this uneasy time, she's approaching the anxiety that surfaces in her home head-on.
“I’m a problem solver. We like to pride ourselves on our positive problem-solving. It’s been really neat to kind of let go and to see how they are blooming from this as well," said Sokol.
Sokol said she now also allows what was once frowned upon like jumping on the couch and bed to help make up for her kid's lost activities and peer interaction.
“I say bless this mess because my house is not clean, we are a museum of the living,” said Sokol.
To help tackle their emotions, Brandon reminds children their thoughts are not facts and they shouldn't get attached to them.
“Sometimes we have children imagine their thoughts are like clouds floating by - there is a cloud, there it goes. Or that their thoughts are like bubbles, I can pop that one,” said Brandon.
As this pandemic rages on, parents should trust their instincts and don't hesitate to connect their children with the resources that can help.
“That can be really important to making sure they do transition, and they can handle everything that’s going on," said Rintamaki.