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SoCal Parents of Littles: How Has Your Child's Behavior Changed During The Pandemic?

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Little children are feeling the emotional upheaval surrouding the pandemic. And their emotional distress is stressing out their parents. (Charles Deluvio/Unsplash)
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By Mariana Dale and Stefanie Ritoper

Sibling smackdowns, potty training efforts thwarted, three-nager attitude like none other.

Let's be real -- it's chaos out here for families. Many kids have little-to-no social contact. A lot of kids are dealing with unthinkable changes as families deal with job loss, family health issues and all kinds of pandemic uncertainties.

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In Santa Monica, Jonathan Wong's older son was looking forward to starting kindergarten IRL.

"As the months of virtual kinder have worn on, I notice that he is less optimistic, more sullen about school, and his mood swings more frequently," Wong wrote us.

These kids are STRESSED. And they have reason to be, right?

And parents are feeling it, too.

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"I don't know any woman in my circle who isn't crying all the time, who is literally losing hair, stress vomiting," said Woodland Hills mom Rachel Stuhler. "And I don't think that ends with the vaccine."

And what about the long-term impact on our kids' mental health? Maybe we are seeing some signs of it already: grinding teeth, stomach aches, interrupting parents' video calls with dinosaur roars. Or maybe that's just what's supposed to happen at this age?

Northeast L.A. dad Rob Poynter told us his six-year-old daughter is now afraid of being left alone.

"If she is in the bath and we're not in the room with her, she calls our names every couple of minutes," Poynter said. "This never happened before."

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT

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We're compiling resources and stories for an upcoming article.

If you're a parent or caregiver of a kid five years and under, we want to hear about your experiences. How has your child's behavior changed during the pandemic? What have you learned and what are your parenting hacks?

Fill out the form below and KPCC/LAist early childhood reporter Mariana Dale and engagement producer Stefanie Ritoper will read every response. We will not share anything publicly without your permission.