Kids Mental Health During Covid 19
The outbreak of Covid 19 has given rise to complex and multiple array of risks and challenges which has led to repercussions on the mental wellness of people of all ages worldwide.
As per UNICEF (2021) report, it suggests that the sound mental health of children is important from the perspectives of physical and cognitive wellness and development of social skills too. Efficient mental health management is essential for the effective and accurate physical and social health functioning of children at home, school, or any other communal places.
Impact of Covid 19 on Kids’ Mental Health
Children, especially kids, have been one of the most vulnerable or affected population size in the field as this group of people have a growing stage, and hence constitute lesser tendency towards coping up with unbearable circumstances. Continue reading to unfold the notable impact of covid 19 on kids’ mental health.
The rapid sweep of the covid 19 pandemic across the globe has already induced considerable degree of fear, anxiety, stress, and worry among people. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a radical increment in the mental health emergencies. Pandemic-related stress, traumas, and anxiety can tend to have a lasting effect on the developing minds of children or kids.
Fussiness, irritability, startling, etc. occurs as an effect of frustration among the kids. The rise of covid 19 forces people to isolate and stay in their homes. This has led to separation from the social practices and areas, and hence enforced greater stress on the kids’ personal and social associations. The results of such isolated upbringing can considerably cause the reduction in social progress, social absenteeism, irritability, and much more.
Lack of mobility
Further, the lack of freedom or choice to move, living in the homes for effective follow-up of covid 19 protocols, wearing of masks, and following other safety measures put the kids into irritated situation. The increasing fear of going outside, aggressive behavior influenced by the follow-up of covid protocols, etc.have made kids of today as aggressive and violent.
Loss of interest in daily activities
Moreover, the rising covid 19 situations within the families have also steeped as a next-level impact of covid on mental health among kids. The need to separate from the families – especially during the case of positive covid 19 results within a family has increased the kids’ loss of interests in other activities, hard or difficult time in falling or staying asleep, varying behavior and mood, etc. occurs as major impacts on mental health among the kids during covid 19. This has also put the kids into a lasting psychological distress from the covid 19 situation.
Reasons observed behind the scene
Isolation and Distancing
Nevertheless, the stoppage of in-place activities such as offices, schools, institutes, etc. have placed a noticeable impact on the education, play, and social activities of the kids during covid 19. Even the situation has placed robust dependence of technology among people globally.
Increased tech utility
Kids, especially, have been more gathered by these technology applications and consequences. The online conduct of classrooms, online or video communication with relatives and friends, and overall online system of learning and entertainment in the meantime has made kids failed in developing normal communication, less attentive, increasing physical distresses such as vision issues, issues with postures, and headache.
Inclination Towards Technology
Additionally, the online learning and higher tech-dependence can tend to be dangerous for kids as it can lead to data security risks, lesser knowledge of encryptions and securities can be troublesome to kids as well, and whatnot.
Lack of Schooling and in-place Learning
Very little, but to be considered, the increase of covid has pressurized kids for online learning which has destructed their creativity and soft skills like writing, involvement in art and craft activities, and other recreational activities. This can be a negative impact on the long-term aspects, i.e., the kid may end up becoming unskilled, uncreative, lesser interest in creativity, and other cognitive deficiencies.
Key Strategies Recommended to Address the Issue
Looking at the side effects or impacts of the mental health among kids during covid 19, certain strategies can be recommended and used among the target population which can work multiple ways.
Maintaining Psychological Wellness
Taking care of kids in the covid 19 stage uses simple yet important strategies including the psychological, psychosocial, emotional, physical, and academic aspects. Firstly, the strategy to provide assurance to kids whenever needed must be opted. It is vital to reassure children and kids by actively listening to their concerns, resolving their queries, and giving ample attention to them. Such actions allow the kids to feel the affection and hence reduces the chances of psychological stresses on them in the covid 19 situations of lockdown, casualties, and so on.
Promote Friendship, Communication, and Connectivity
Further, keeping the kids in an active and regular contact with friends and colleagues can also serve as effective ways to manage the emotional and psychological factors. Physical or social distancing from friends, and social isolation has become a cause of distress among the children and kids. Physical distancing from their friends can become discouraging for them, and hence must be managed well.
Talking to Kids Open-heartedly
Henceforth, encouraging the kids to talk to their friends, cousins, and amiable by managing the safe distance practices, connecting them on calls and video call, and involving in some remote fun activities can be one adventurous yet entertaining activity for the kids which can keep well, heal, and sustain the mental health of kids during the covid 19 pandemic. The virtual and distant connection with friends can uplift the emotional and psychosocial aspects, and hence aid the maintenance of mental health of kids during covid 19.
Increased Physical Activities
Globally, there have been families which have suffered unbearable issues during covid 19. This has impacted theirs and the other kids as well severely, leading to lack of good living, recreational gaps, boredom, laziness, and much more. Henceforth, involving the children or kids into different indoor activities.
For example, playing the indoor games, picking up or involving them into any hobby, teaching them crafts, teaching exercises, yoga, or dance activities that are enjoyableto them can be good enough to keep them apart from the negative influences arising during the covid 19 scenario.
Staying Involved in Activities
Even, involving kids into simple household activities can also enhance their engagement in activities and hence develop their cognitive, physical, and emotional aspects.
Using Non-tech and Traditional Ways of Learning at Home
Furthermore, seeing that the rise of the epidemic situations has forced the kids and children to face online learning and classrooms which is one of the major causes of the psychological and physical distresses among them. Making a traditional style of learning at home in a routine manner can thus act as a supreme way to manage the academic and educational factors during the covid 19 situation.
Additionally, showing or coaching the students at home, teaching them the practical implementation of the theoretical knowledge received in the online classes, etc. tend to serve as a potential strategy to manage the mental health of kids and their academic gains during covid 19.
Developing Emotional Connect With Kids
In the realm of this epidemic upsurge, a lot of kids experienced, witnessed, and undergone critical situations filled with depression, anxiety, and restlessness due to their family sufferings or conditions. However, it looks as a normal condition for children and kids to become anxious in such a time.
Thus, looking out the emotional cues in kids, talking to them about the emotional baggage they’re having, explaining them about the current situation and the need of resilience, etc. is all that can help kids manage their mental health during covid 19. Rather than avoiding their queries related to covid situation or the circumstance, speaking to them openly can help reduce their stress and anxiety. Kids generally contain a very sober cognitive abilities, and hence remembering that this situation is novel for children is important.
Sharing of Knowledge About the Current Global Scenario for Awareness
Lastly, sharing correct information with the kids regarding the covid 19 pandemic, the environmental situations, and circumstances advisable for clarity of information. Although, providing a lot of reporting and news related to the outbreak to kids is not advisable but giving them proper information, facts, and knowledge in a way that the kids can understand. This can elevate their level of knowledge and awareness about the current situation, and also aid the use of cognitive skills for the protection of self and the belongings.
In closure, covid 19 pandemic has introduced the sense of fear and anxiety around the globe, which has been considered as a resultant in generating short-term and long-term psychosocial, psychological, physical, and emotional implications for children and adolescents.
To manage the mental health of the kids during covid 19, the stated strategies can be effective and useful. The pandemic has certainly caused a stir in everyone’s life, however with tiny steps at a time, we can make living worthwhile for the little members of our family for them to enjoy a blissful childhood.