The pandemic has affected everyone and disrupted many economic and social activities worldwide. It is hard to deny that children are not less affected. While some people suffered the illnesses, others mourned the loss of loved ones. Adjusting your life to accommodate the changes coming with the pandemic is not a walk in the park. The government of every country lost significant amounts of money due to the pandemic, upgrading health facilities, research, and many other ways necessary in fighting the pandemic.
Nonetheless, it is sad that there is less concern on the effect of the same on children specifically. In the process of adjusting, people forget that kids require more assistance in adjusting to their disrupted lives. The psychological, social, and emotional sudden change is hard for children to absorb.
Here are some of the effects of the pandemic on children.
The Social Isolation
A child grows better and faster with others. It is easy to notice how social isolation has significantly impacted many children’s development. Interacting, making friends, and developing primary social skills are vital for every child, especially the young. Unfortunately, the pandemic makes it challenging to learn these critical skills. Many of them struggle if they cannot interact with friends. You can make it easier for them; allow your child to interact with others online, let them meet but take extra precautions like sitting six ft apart and wearing masks while playing.
The Online School
Changing the learning environment from actual school to online has a significant impact on children. Kids can interact with the teacher, ask for clarifications, and receive responses where necessary. For example, someone might ask, why is the alphabetic principle important? Kids must read and understand the meaning of a text. A child can only achieve that with the help of a teacher.
When the child is learning, especially the young ones in kindergarten, the teacher has to point out every sound when making corrections. That way, the kid knows how to read fluently and automatically. However, online schooling is the opposite, as the child can get distracted. The online school makes it hard for the teacher to guide the child properly as the child cannot explain the area of weakness.
Eventually, the child starts dropping in performance, affecting future academics as it is the foundation. In addition, a child may have trouble using a computer which complicates the studies further.
Covid 19 pandemic is causing many substantial life changes leading to a rise in mental issues among the youth. Adapting to the drastic changes, losing family members and friends, and social isolation are too much for young people to swallow.
Children display stress and depression differently depending on age; therefore, parents need to learn to look out for mental illness signs and symptoms in children. If you notice any signs, do not delay to act; show them love, understanding, and support, and seek further help if needed.
There is a belief that kids deal best with issues by letting them and “figuring it out.” It is not valid. Children should learn that it is acceptable to show emotions, and parents need to know to offer emotional support and help kids develop ways of dealing with stress.
Fear of Illness
The Covid 19 pandemic caused many people to lose their lives, leading to some kids developing a fear or any sign of sickness. When kids experience any slight symptoms, it is not clear if it is COVID or not, so some develop anxiety when another person coughs or sneezes and eventually falls sick anyway. Parents need to be bright when handling such cases as the anxiety may increase when a parent tries to help them by bringing a doctor.
Even with the invention of the COVID 19 vaccine, people still have to wear masks in public, especially kids, since they cannot be vaccinated. Such extra precautions make the children more aware of the dangers of the virus, which may affect them psychologically. Besides, some children find the masks uncomfortable, and some remove them when no adult is watching. Therefore, a parent should make the child understand the necessity of wearing a mask.
The pandemic has significant life-changing effects that can impact a child directly or indirectly. For example, a child who has lost parents to covid 19 is directly affected as they have to deal with orphanhood. At worst, such an occurrence can lead to stress, anxiety, or depression.
If people could understand the impacts of the pandemic on children, it would be easier to help them overcome. It is high time for parents and other stakeholders to stop assuming that kids are “okay.” As a parent, you can strive to ensure that your child is happy and safe during and after the pandemic. It is a call to all concerned with children to take action and assist affected children as some may need counseling.