I know I probably need to have a conversation with our pedi too, but always find others’ experience so helpful.

Our 5 (almost 6) year old is in virtual Kinder this year. It’s not ideal but we have two high risk family members (including him) and cases in our area are now getting bad again. He seems ok with the academic parts (not super demanding - 1 hour zoom, a few assignments from school, some supplementing at home) but I know he really needs the social and we just don’t feel comfortable doing that beyond playing with another family or two outside. He’s also the middle child and I suspect just really needs some space away from his older sister to be his own person, even though they get along well, she’s the boss in a typical oldest child way. He’s sensitive and a bit (a lot) wild so he does hear more “don’t do that” type words than I wish. I think he also gets caught by being somewhat on his sister’s 3rd grade level - since he’s always looked up to play with her - but doesn’t have all the skills she does, just because he’s 3 years younger, so feels inferior. I wish he could do martial arts or something that would be his own, but we just don’t feel comfortable with indoor activities this winter.

Since covid I think he has struggled the most of any of us. Lots of sadness he can’t say why ... he just knows he is sad. Lately it seems to be escalating. Talk about how he shouldn’t be in our family, it would be better without him, he can’t do anything, nothing sounds fun except maybe tv time, on and on. He wouldn’t eat lunch today, just sat in a ball. Nothing we say or do seems to change it much - we are trying hard to be positive and thoughtful in what words we use, even when he’s misbehaving, with lots of praise and encouragement. It just all seems like more than “trying the words out” when kids say out there stuff.

DH and I both brought mental health issues to the gene pool so surely that is not helping. I know the feeling of being mired in sadness but I never felt it until a teenager.

I don’t know what I’m looking for, but if you have experience, would love to hear it! I know a big part is we need covid to end so he can go out and find his place in the world again and feel good about school and activities, but that’s a long road likely. Thank you in advance!