Teen finds music to be powerful coping mechanism during pandemic
Children of all ages are back in school now. Although 2021 is proving to be another challenging year, many students are finding creative outlets to cope with the stress and anxiety of it all.
Dylan Bator, a high school sophomore, reflects on the pandemic and the healing power of music.
"Mental health is a big issue, especially in middle and high school," he said.
He said, like many, COVID-19 caught him by surprise, so he turned to music.
"It was, like, my way of just getting away from all that anxiety or stress of, you know, you don't know what will come next or who could have what ... whether something bigger's going to happen," Bator said.
Singing and playing tunes kept his mind occupied.
"It's important for, you know, kids to always have an outlet, you know, look to have something that they can go to when they are feeling that extra stressed out or need an escape from the reality they are in, and for me, that's just my music," Bator said.
Dr. Raphi Wald, a licensed psychologist, said these are difficult times.
"There's a lot of disappointment," he explained. "There's a lot of anxiety and nervousness. There's a lot of frustration. … All beginnings are difficult. That is the case whether you're an adult or child, but especially for children."
He said the focus on how to cope is often misplaced.
"I don't want them to think about it in terms of tricks or exercises," he said. "I think the most important thing is talking things out, understanding what your child is going through."
Bator's father, Chris Bator, said that's been his focus.
"Fortunately, we talk every single day, and so I have a good relationship with my children and understand, you know, the different perspectives," he said.
He is proud that his son's music has provided an escape for Dylan and his son's classmates during tough times.
"I honestly feel like his ability to kind of share his music has given him his outlet," he said. "His want to kind of thrive through that has really provided him an opportunity to have his way of working through the challenges that we've had through society."
Scripps Only Content 2021