As the whole world is halted by COVID-19. All economic giants are trying to find a cure.
One of the most affected sectors is education.
After a long break in school for about 4 months while somewhere it is more than 7 months the schools are reopening gradually.
But the burning question nowadays is:
Whether schools should be opened or not?
As the number of cases is rising again the kids are getting affected.
This scenario puts parents as well as authorities in a great debate.
Challenges for Kids due to Lockdown
Sitting at home with the fear of COVID-19 puts a heinous effect on children’s minds.
Sleeping or playing video games put a lot of laziness and idleness in children’s minds and bodies.
Also, parents didn’t force kids to study.
As now schools are reopening, kids are reluctant to return back to schools.
According to UNESCO, Pandemic affected more than 1.9 billion children around the globe which is approx. of 90% of children in schools– that’s 90% of the world’s school-age children.
Here are the prominent challenges that children’s are considering after lockdown:
Mental Health Problems
The experience of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is related with a higher risk for mental health problems.
Most mental disorders require regular psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment.
Therefore, the lack of availability of health services will make situation worse.
Severity and outcome of mental disorders could worsen the situation as delay in health services and in prompt diagnosis and treatment is reduced.
The biggest threat of all for children is that there possibly a rise in chronic disorders.
And support for these cases is numerous or unavailable.
Also, there isn’t any possible availability in underdeveloped countries, where the situation will get grimmer with the passing time.
Loss and Grief
Losing your loved ones in front of your eyes.
Is not easy to forget, when children hear their loved ones die or any of their friends.
It put a sense of grief and sorrow on their minds.
Rise in Domestic Violence
During the pandemic, it is noted that there is a rise in domestic violence in homes.
A notable increase in physical, emotional, and sexualized violence against children is noted.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a worldwide increase in violence and human trafficking of children is skyrocketing.
The sudden closing of institutions created a sense of uncertainty not only for parents but also for children’s too.
Firstly, it was considered that it will be a few days lockdown, but with the long stop put children away from study.
Sitting and playing video games put a dark effect on children’s mental health.
This is noted that Greece pandemic directly affected adolescent mental health during this crisis.
Due to lockdown anxiety and depression cases on the verge. As children are not ready to accept that institutions are opened now.
Anxiety and depression lead to mental stress.
And mental stress lead to self-harm studies shown.
During this lockdown habit of laziness, closed between walls, and the threat of fear had put a psychological pressure and sense of depression for children.
According to a survey conducted by Save in Children in the EU AND US, it is noted that Children feel anxiety and fear. The Situation in the US is worse than in any other country.
- About 49% of children seem worried to return back to schools.
- 70% of participating children in Finland reported experiencing feelings of anxiety, over 55%.
Because of prolonged vacations, there would be transitional issues.
Issues like promoting to the next grades, delaying in exams, and new admissions would arise.
As a result, children would be reluctant towards studying.
Being homesick made friendship bonds dull and strained.
There is a possibility that due to social distancing, friendships of children will deteriorate too.
Considering Home Safe
Being at home will be considered safer, despite going to school.
As children possibly get affected form COVID by going to school.
Delay in the eating routine is also an important factor that is affecting children’s health during the lockdown.
Eating randomly or without having any proper may also affect child health.
Children with avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) lockdown created serious issues for them too.
Children with disabilities
For Children with disabilities this lockdown also affected them, they can feel the loss of self-control and depression too.
People with walking disability this lockdown may create serious issues for them specially.
Health and Safety Measures to be adopted by Parents before sending Children to School
After the lockdown rather than children, parents are also reluctant to send their children to school.
Longstanding delay in classes, the threat of COVID-19, and news circulating in media created an environment of uncertainty for parents.
They are in between whether to send their children to school or not!
Certain measures should be adopted by the parents before sending children to school:
Setting Up Mind
Initially and first priority as a guardian is to set the mind of your child for school.
It is not an easy wall as long-standing fear and threat are surrounding the child.
Ask them about their fear and try to answer them according to their age.
Setting Sleeping Routine
Secondly, setting back their daily routine to encounter sleeping disorders.
During lockdown waking up till late is common, when opening the date of school came near set bedtime routine and morning routine.
So that they feel calmer.
Teaching Safety Precautions
Staying at home and washing hands frequently under parent’s guide is regular for children now.
Safety precautions according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and WHO guidelines should be followed
when children are returning back to school it is the obligation of parents to teach safety precautions to children.
Children should wash their hands frequently, wear masks, should remain social distancing in class and in the break too.
Train them to wash hands regularly when they came back from outdoor activities.
Bringing Food Items
Children should bring their lunch along with them.
Parents should teach children not to buy food from outside.There should not take any food from any random stranger.
Spending Quality Time
Consider yourself a kid for a while when in front of children.
Play with them or read books or any other entertainment.
Then children possibly could open up about their fears.
Teach them Copy strategies
Model copy strategies should be taught to children.
Model Copy tactics are those which help you in re-engagement with your social circle e.g. friends, colleagues, etc.
Children should also learn copy tactics which will help them in re-engagement with friends.
Copy strategies will also help them in overcoming behavioral changes
Which they may face after a long gap.
When re-engaging with friends children will overcome their fears and worries.
Engagement of Parents with Teachers
Parents and teachers should coordinate with each other.
They should maintain a keen sight of the children, and to keep children engaged in play and learning activities in school and at home.
If there is a change in the behavior of a child at school, then both parents and teachers could coordinate for the betterment of the child.
Be a Role Model
Children copy parental activities and behaviors.
Be a role model for them to avoid social gatherings, wash your hands frequently, Wear Masks when going outside.
As a result, children will also opt for safety precautions too.
To conclude, COVID-19 created an environment of fear and dark around children and parents.
After the long-standing lockdown children’s minds are uncaptured with the concept of isolation.
And parents are in confusion whether to send them back or not!
It is the duty of parents to reenergize their children by building a sense of confidence and support.
Although this is not an easy task, for a better upbringing and mental health it is necessary, either situation may get grim for the child.