While we have so much to know about the ongoing pandemic and the deadly Coronavirus that caused it, we do know a bit about how it affects different age group people.
For instance, people above the age of 50 years, and children below 5 years are more severely affected by it as their immunity will be low. However, most people fail to realize how ongoing quarantine and isolation have psychologically affected people, especially children.
Yes, social distancing is hard for every one of us, however, it can be extremely difficult for some children and teens. This potentially has the capacity to hinder their social development in the long run.
Children, as they grow old, their peers, and external interactions become an important source of their social development more than their family members and during their time spent in their homes.
The ongoing isolation, quarantine, and the inability to get outside one’s homes freely might have a lasting effect on a kid’s growth. While experts believe that the children are more likely to bounce back to their normal state of mind if this lasts for a few months. However, by the looks of it, it seems that this is the new normal and will remain the same for a while.
So, in this article, let us try to understand how the ongoing COVID-19 situation has psychologically affected children and how you, the parents can help them develop socially.
How children are psychologically affected
Due to the ongoing long-term social distancing, parents are the only source of social interaction for most of the kids around the world. This evidently will hinder the cognitive development of kids, especially children who are in their late childhood and adolescence.
This is because younger children have their parents and siblings to learn the basic nuances of social interaction, however, those in their adolescence are currently deprived of going through complex social groups and interactions.
Apart from social development, a majority of children were affected by other mental health issues like fear, anxiety, and things adults are facing, like fear of death and the pain of losing loved ones.
How can you help your kids cope up and develop socially?
While there is a huge psychological impact on children’s minds and how they develop socially, you as parents can play a significant role in helping them cope with all this. Below are some of the important things you can do.
- Keep your kids involved in creative arts like music, stories, painting, and others. It is known that arts like these will have a positive impact on their growth and well being.
- As children, mainly teens, crave for social interactions, understand their need to be online and in contact with their friends. However, make sure that you are familiar with the apps they are using and set necessary safety features on it.
- Make sure that they are not stuck in the virtual world by distracting them into playing interactive games like board games with you and the family from time to time.
- Understand that kids can get overwhelmed with the constant presence of their parents. So, allow them some space.
- Children need an outlet for their energy, so make sure you have them play some physical games or exercise daily while ensuring that they are in safe borders.
- Make sure they consume entertaining yet informative content in the form of various webinars.
- Limit viewing pandemic related content, news, and conversations in front of them.
- Most important of all, have an open conversation with them and make them understand the difference between what is real as opposed to their fears.
- Communicate clearly with them to understand what they are feeling
If at any point you have any doubts or queries, you can always consult with experts through us.