It was the day of March 11, 2020, when WHO (World Health Organization)formally announced COVID- 19 as a global pandemic. It was soon when the world was expecting to go into a situation of lockdown to break the chain of spread.
As adults, we could understand the severity of the situation, and hence, tried our best to cooperate. But what about the children? Did the children have an equally fair understanding of the disease?
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William D King explains the psychological toll of COVID-19 on children
Among all the age groups that the pandemic affected, children remain to be one of the most susceptible out of all. Talking about the psychological impact of the pandemic on the children, it would be an understatement to say children as young as 5 to 6 years old adjusted themselves to the new normal. Even experts say that environment can have a strong impact on behavior.
During childhood, children are expected to go outside, indulge in sports and play and make friends. But for the time being, they were restricted to their homes. In situations like these, the crucial responsibility of taking care of the child while helping them understand the situation falls into the hands of the parents.
The role of parents will always be like a pillar in the life of a child. Even in times of the pandemic, it became a challenge for the pandemic to accommodate the needs of the child as much as possible while keeping in mind the safety protocols that were mandatory to follow. According to William D King studies conducted during the lockdown found that the psychological toll that the pandemic took on the young ones resulted in an increased level of anxiety, irritation, fear, and even sadness.
Tips for supportive parenting in COVID- 19
UNICEF shared important tips that parents of affected children could follow to provide the much-needed emotional support effectively. If you are a parent of an affected child, implementing these steps can make a difference.
- Talk about COVID- 19
Talking about COVID- 19 is an effective technique to spread awareness about the disease and to also educate the children about it. Parents should talk to the child about the severity of the condition and the importance of staying indoors during the time. They must also encourage the child to talk about what they know about the virus to clear any false information.
- Be supportive
If a child has been feeling low, it is recommended to lend a listening ear to the child. Let them talk about things that stress them out. Parents must also motivate the child to be hopeful.
- Being honest
During these challenging times, parents must try their best to answer the questions of their child as honestly as possible. They should also avoid sharing any false hopes or unverified news with the children.
- Being patient
Parents must try to be patient with the child as they are trying to understand and adjust to the situation. the parents need to acknowledge the sources of stress the child could be facing and allow them to express their feelings in an unconditionally caring environment.
COVID- 19 has impacted millions of lives, including the mental health of children. The parents need to take care of the children noticing the changes in their behavior and be supportive. On a brighter note, the pandemic has also provided us an opportunity to be closer to our loved ones and understand them more, especially children.