This week’s DMCBH COVID-19 series features UBC Psychiatry professor Dr. Adele Diamond, whose research in early childhood development focuses on the prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain that takes the longest to mature over a person’s lifetime.
In the article, she emphasizes that stress brought on by COVID-19 can have lasting deleterious effects on children’s psychological and physical state. The prefrontal cortex, a key structure for executive functioning abilities, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of stress, and therefore prolonged stress in children can have long-term consequences on children’s ability to think clearly, control impulsive reacting, and perform other higher brain functions.
Dr. Diamond says that, in these trying times, parents need to be especially mindful of reducing the stress their children are may be experiencing. Activities such as physical exercise, meditation and yoga can be helpful in reducing stress in both children and parents alike, and can be greatly beneficial in keeping parents and kids connected when practiced and enjoyed together.