COVID pandemic and the lockdown that followed have brought about a sense of anxiety and fear across the globe. This phenomenon has led to long term as well as short term mental health and psychosocial implications for adolescents and children. The magnitude and quality of impact on children are determined by many vulnerability factors like educational status, developmental age, being economically under-privileged, pre-existing mental health conditions, or being quarantined due to infection or fear of infection.
“Not only you, but your child is also suffering due to the outbreak of COVID-19. You might think they are happy about not going to school and staying at home always. They are not burdened with studies and getting enough time to play and watch TV. It’s not your mistake; most of the parents think the same,” says Business Strategist and Business Astrologer Hirav Shah.
Hirav Shah adds, “Just like you, things have changed for your kids due to COVID-19 and lockdown periods. There has been a big switch in their daily routine and activities. They are unable to go to their school, meet their friends, and stay normal like before which. These social problems are severely affecting the mental health of your children. Though it’s not visible, your child is getting killed silently.”
“As an adult, you can overcome the situation financially and emotionally over time, but your children won’t be easy to handle the situation if they are not counseled on time. You should support their mental health by working with professionals providing mental health counseling services.”
According to Hirav Shah here are the tips to manage the mental health of children and keep the anxiety factor under control:
Talk about COVID-19 with your children
Based on the age of your children, you should talk and discuss the truth of on-going tragedy and how they can handle the situation. You should explain the ways to keep them and others safe. You should ensure that the information is shared in a language that they can understand easily.
If your kids are missing school and their friends, you should explain the transmission of the virus and the importance of social distancing. You should spend maximum time with them so they do not feel alone.
Assure them that they are fine
The current situation has filled the minds of children with fear. According to them, things are not going and they have lost their friends forever. Also, they have a fear that something will happen to them. As parents, you need to remove this fear from their minds.
Along with explaining the intensity of the tragedy, you should explain to them to cope up with the situation. You should assure your kids that they are safe and will always be safe by taking all the required precautions. The virus is not going to attack you.
Limit their exposure to the 24/7 news cycle
We know you need to stay updated with the coronavirus news but it should be limited, especially when kids are around. Parents think children cannot understand the news, but they can comprehend the same news in their language and understanding. They read the pictures.
You should fix your time for news updates and ensure that your kids are not around. If you find children are getting affecting, you should shift their focus to other physical activities so they forget soon.
Prepare a manageable daily routine
Due to COVID-19, the concept of daily routine has been abolished. With no burden of reaching office and school on time, people are conducting their household chores without any time management. According to them, the entire day belongs to them.
To keep things under control, you should prepare a daily routine for yourself and your children. The routine should be such that it’s easy for your kids to manage and enjoy their entire day.
Take note of changing behavior in your kids
It’s difficult for children to express their mental health problems. They either fear or find it challenging to frame the problem into words. Or simply, they are unable to understand the situation. They continue suffering but will not keep their issues before you.
Hirav Shah concludes by saying, “Keeping these points in mind, you should take note of changing behavior in your kids. If you spot something unusual, talk to the mental health professional. If your child is not willing to visit, you can opt for an online mental counseling program.”
“As parents, you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders. If you do not take the right action on time, the mental health issues in your child will lead to several other chronic health problems.“