Photo: zatvornik (Shutterstock) All year, parents have been worried about the longterm effects this pandemic will have on our kids, and rightfully so: Their mental health, their physical health, and their academic and social skills have probably all taken a hit as schools closed and activities they love were cancelled and their friendships had to take place from a distance. When things get tough for kids, we cling to the idea that they are naturally resilient. “Kids bounce back,” we tell ourselves and each other, partly because that’s often true, but maybe also because we need it to be true. But resilience is like a muscle that is strengthened over time. It needs relief from the weight of hardship before it can emerge, and hardship abounds right now. Of course, the problem with the pandemic is the sheer length and breadth of that hardship. Overcoming life shutting down for a couple of weeks would have been one thing; overcoming everything shutting down for upwards of a year is quite another. But there are things we can do to help our kids through this. Laura Santhanam recently reported on this topic for PBS NewsHour , and Jessica Bartlett, who directs early childhood research for Child Trends , told her that parents should rely on “the three R’s”—reassurance, routine, and regulation. Reassure them about their safety. Younger children want to know grown-ups are working really hard to protect everyone. Older kids have probably heard stories or rumors about the virus and […]