Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have implemented total lockdown, isolation, school closures, and all the other measures of social distancing. This has disrupted our daily routines massively.
For young kids and teens, school closures mean a lack of access to all the resources they normally used to have through schools. They are not able to enjoy various activities, games, fun times with friends, and scheduled learnings in the lockdown phase.
Also, schools act as an anchor in young kids’ life and now with the closure, many kids are not psychologically able to cope up with this change.
Increased Anxiety And Loneliness In Kids
The results of the school closures on reducing Coronavirus disease are very positive, but the socioeconomic consequences are not satisfactory. Children are facing various mental health issues in this phase.
- Many parents report increased anxiety and aggression in kids due to the lack of proper routine. Parents are advised to create a quarantine schedule to keep kids engaged.
- The school closure also triggered loneliness in young kids. Teens may find many activities to stay busy but school-going and young kids feel lonely and isolated.
- Kids also show other adverse feelings such as boredom, anger, and worry about their friends and present condition.
With School Closure Kids Have Limited Access To Leisure Time Activities
Of course, kids do not miss school for studies, they miss it the most for various leisure time activities they used to do with their friends.
- In most countries, children can not access regular playgrounds, school activity clubs, and social group activities.
- Kids miss school sports clubs and activity centers the most. This can have a negative impact on a child’s mental health.
Consequences Of School Closure On Kids With Mental Health Needs
Kids who were already struggling with various mental health issues and children having special education needs suffered the most due to school closures.
- School routines are essential coping mechanisms for young kids with different mental health issues. When schools are closed they lose primary support and their symptoms could rise again.
- Kids with autism, spectrum disorder, and other mental health issues can feel severe depression and helplessness.
- Such kids also have special education needs. In this lockdown when they can not be treated with special care and attention often they feel aggression, sadness, irritability, and fatigue.
While we all are stuck in isolation, we are close to our family like never before. And parents can give maximum attention to kids to calm down their fears. Apply below-mentioned strategies to manage kids’ psychological issues during school closure.
Keep Your Kids Occupied
- Parents should keep children busy in various activities so that they do not feel lonely, lazy and stressed out. You can assign some household chores to keep them busy.
- Let them watch their favorite cartoons and TV shows. Playing video games, spending some time on social media platforms, watching various web series will distract them from their anxieties.
- However, another global issue with kids during coronavirus is their increased screen time. Restrict your kids if you think their screen time is increasing extensively with child monitoring apps like Bit Guardian Parental Control. Your intention here is to permit healthy screen time and avoid any digital addictions. Keep kids’ screen time in-check with screen time control tools.
Manage Your Parental Anxiety
As parents, if you are feeling anxious and constantly worried about kids’ mental health during this lockdown, you should first manage your own fear. Take a short break from your hectic schedule and learn some advanced parenting skills to cope up with new parenting challenges that came along with the lockdown.
Assist Your Kid To Feel In Control
- Kids feel empowered when they know parents are validating their choices and feelings. Acknowledge kids’ fear and impulses during his lonely depressed days.
- Teach him it’s okay to get upset but making the right choice is always good. You can encourage him to stay healthy by joining him in a few exercise sessions.
- Teach kids that staying healthy and having good hygiene habits can help them stay strong and well.
- Let them feel in command and follow his favorite activities for an hour or two to boost his confidence.
According to UNESCO, schools have been closed in 188 countries globally and over 90% of enrolled learners worldwide are now out of education during this lockdown phase. Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General has stated– “the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled”.
Homeschooling your kids and arranging frequent virtual meetings with his friend can be an excellent way to support your kid to combat his mental issues during the Coronavirus pandemic.