Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Two-thirds of parents of children under 18 are worried about the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their child's mental health, according to the findings of a survey released Wednesday by Nationwide Children's Hospital.
More than half of parents surveyed said they are running out of ways to help their children stay positive during the pandemic and the life changes that have come with it, including school closings and restrictions on social gatherings, the survey also found.
"As parents, I think it's on us to be a little bit creative this year, thinking through what our kids might need to be successful and to be able to roll with the punches as we continue to ride this out," Parker Huston, a psychologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said in a press release.
"The good news is that kids are incredibly adaptable when given the right support," he said.
Since March, many school districts across the country have shifted away from in-person learning in classrooms to online coursework.
In addition, parts of the country have placed limits on social gatherings, as well as youth sports and arts programs, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
As a result, many children, adolescents and teens are spending more time at home and away from friends, said Huston, who has two children.
"We have a structure to the day," he said.
"We do our school work at certain times, we take breaks at certain times and we can be flexible with that some days, but most of the time the kids know exactly what their expectations are," he added.
The Nationwide Children's Hospital-led survey questioned more than 1,000 parents of children under age 18 from across the United States.
Sixty-six percent of respondents said they fear that the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their children's mental health will be harder to reverse the longer it continues. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed indicated that they are running out of ways to help their children stay positive as the crisis continues, the data showed.
Huston and his colleagues are encouraging parents to help their children build resilience to bounce back from stress, anxiety and disappointment they may experience during these challenging times, he said.
"If the adults are responding negatively, or if they seem unsure or distressed by a decision, then the kids are likely to be, as well," Huston said.