We all think about returning to work and returning to our social groups, and for our kids, it is much of the same. People around the world have been slowly adjusting to the rules and regulations in place with “stay at home” order in affect, business closures, and school closures. Looking to the future, it is impossible to determine an accurate timeline that can tell us when things will get back to “normal.”
Children are used to “on screen time” during school hours, but they are also used to interacting with their classmates and exploring new places. Now, that has all been taken away from them. Understandably, it is for the good of the community, but at the same time, the new problem is that they have never experienced anything remotely close to being isolated for an extended period of time before.
Children are not left out when it comes to mental illnesses. Statistics say that at least one in five kids face some degree of mental illness. So with that comes new challenges for both kids and parents facing the days and weeks to come while being stuck inside.
An important thing for parents to do, as said by child psychologist Ali Mattu, Ph.D., is to try and “create a routine for your kids, and really pay attention to what they have to say.“
It also important to remember that children have never experienced this form of isolation, and it’s vital that you be patient with them, just as you would want someone to be patient with you during these difficult times.
Many schools are switching to online forms of education, which is important not only for your kid’s education, but also for their mentality. Being able to have some form of interaction with their peers and teachers can be used as part of their daily routine. Keeping track of their studies and helping them with it as well, just as you would do during normal school schedules, can help create a positive atmosphere for everyone in the household. Communication is key.
Snow, Kate. “How The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Impacting Kids’ Mental Health.” NBC News, Snow, Kate, Mattu, Ali,Ph.D., NBC News, 26 March, 2020, https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-impacting-kids-mental-health-81255493735.