Coping with Immigration & the Family
"Far too many children in this country already live in constant fear that their parents will be taken into custody or deported… No child should ever live in fear. When children are scared, it can impact their health and development."
(American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Protecting Immigrant Children, 1/25/2017)
When families include members with undocumented immigration status, this can create fear of separation from loved ones, produce psychological stress, and add economic hardship. Children often worry when adults around them are worried or when they hear news reports or adult discussion they do not understand. Children can become distressed when the adults who care for them are experiencing their own emotional reactions. Children of all ages and stages of development experience emotional reactions that vary depending on their age.
Parents worry about the effects on their children and how to manage children’s emotions and behaviors. Our tip sheet, Coping with Immigration & the Family, helps parents understand children’s reactions to the fear of separation due to immigration, provides some suggestions for strategies to help manage behaviors and emotions, and suggest resources for community support and creating a family plan.