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Pediatric psychologist Dr. Daniel Lewin, who serves as the Associate Director of Pediatric Sleep Medicine at Children’s National Hospital, an expert on getting children to chill the hell out. He’s a practical guy replies to existential inquiries in simple terms — a product of his practice and being a practiced parent. 

There’s been a sort of bank run on “comfort items” like teddy bears during the coronavirus crisis. Do you see value in that.

Children have less capacity in some cases to express their fears than adults. Transitional objects are wonderful ways for children to express them.

How can parents help kids use those objects productively. They want to give the kid a bear, but what should they say when they do so?

‘Here’s something for you to take care of just like I take care of you.’

So the parent is asking for empathy in the form of action? Makes sense. Any way to ensure that works?

Say, ‘We’re going through a difficult time right now. How do you want to help your bear understand what to do?’