Managing The Mental Health of Children During COVID-19 Pandemic
Children have been facing major interruptions in life with the outbreak of coronavirus for the past year. Physical distancing from friends and with every source of entertainment being inaccessible has generated a need to look after the mental health in children.
With the virus still spreading in the country, it is very likely that children will experience fear, worry, and anxiety—very similar to what adults experience such as fear of dying or losing someone close to them such as a friend or a relative. Even the thought of going to the hospital can scare them. With every source of entertainment and recreation such as parks, restaurants, gardens, and cinemas closed, they have fewer options to spend their summer vacations with their friends. The social support that is crucial for the mental health in children has been lacking for the year and more.
What Can Parents Do to Take Care of the Mental Health in Children?
Although all children can feel the changes happening around them, most of them, especially the young ones, may find these changes difficult to understand and with little to no support; they may feel irritated or angry.
There are simple strategies that you can adopt here in order to ensure that they don’t give in to fears. You need to be honest with them and explain everything in detail about what is happening in a language they clearly understand.
These strategies can help you manage the mental health in children during the pandemic.
Strategies to Deal with the Mental Health in Children
Provide assurance every time they need
You need to reassure your child because they need you more than you need them. these are difficult times so you must listen to your child’s concerns and answer all their queries related to the outbreak. Spend quality time and give them all the attention they need now in order to ensure that feel safe and secure.
Put them in contact with their friends and relatives
One of the biggest concerns of children now is they are unable to meet their friends. Friendship is important for a healthy childhood and physical distancing from friends or for that matter anyone they love can be a cause of distress. Have your child talk to his friends through phone or video calls via WhatsApp or Zoom.
Manage your child’s anxiety
It’s easy for children to get anxious about happenings around them and more so during times like these. Check if your child’s behaviour has changed and talked to him out of it. Don’t judge your child because he is either anxious or fearful or has little knowledge about the pandemic. As parents, you need to give them strength and tell them that things will be back to normal in a few days and we will all be living our usual lives.
Give them age-appropriate information
Children are naive and are unable to process information. You need to give them the right information which is age-appropriate. Talking to them about deaths and illnesses isn’t good. Tell them what caused the outbreak and how the current measures will help stop the spread.
Conclusion: How to Take Care of Mental Health in Children
During times of crisis, such as the present one, it is normal for children to be more demanding on parents and seek more attachment. If your child has any concerns, then both parents need to sit and counsel the child to ease their anxiety. Children always learn from adults how to manage their own emotions and take care of their mental health during difficult times, so set the right example at home.