Categories: Kids HealthParenting

Learn How Pandemic Impacts Kids and Parents in Different Ways

With the pandemic changing things around at such a rapid pace, many parents and children alike are having a challenging time accommodating to the new conditions. Social distancing is difficult to follow, especially for those of us who love to interact and connect with others. Stay-at-home orders are affecting kids who’d rather be in school spending time with their peers, but also parents who’ve become the main social interaction tool for their children. Social development is thus put on hold, with both groups having needs that cannot be met at this moment. This situation does nothing but add to the overall stress caused by the pandemic, which can be daunting for many.

If you are not completely aware of how coronavirus is affecting parents and children and how things could get better, here is a short summary that you might want to check out. We will also touch on the importance of social development and the underlying, subconscious message of social distancing.

How does the pandemic affect children?

More than 1.5 billion students are currently out of school due to the pandemic. Thus, the crisis has a direct impact on their education and social relations, since most children are part of the schooling system (home-schooling rates are low). Studies have shown that adolescents are closely connected to their groups of peers – this is the stage in their life when they must create the sincerest relationships and thus, develop socially. Because of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, many children are not able to communicate with their friends anymore; they are barely able to see them online. And even online, the environment is quite different and not as playful.

Social distancing has a real negative impact on children’s emotional development. While some of them understand that the requirements are put in place for a specific reason, most of them do not have the full capacity to see the bigger picture of the story. Thus, they blame their lack of socialization on themselves or their friends. This can never be good since it leads to severe guilt trauma and the lack of proper further interaction. Disconnecting from society creates children unable to learn the necessary cues for social interaction and thus, it creates extreme introverts. While all of us have both introverted and extroverted qualities, being situated on one far extreme is never healthy.

Developing empathy skills is another aspect of the problem. While children are focused on developing their social skills in one to one interaction, they are nevertheless developing empathy as a side effect. They learn how to feel what their friends or classmates are thinking based on an emotional response. Switching education to an online setting does not allow for this anymore. Kids are no longer able to interact with their peers on an emotional level and develop the necessary empathy skills – thus, connections become more robotized and less personal.

How can we help children stay personal and develop empathy?

As essay writer Dan Rumsey explains, “Children can be easily worked with if parents are determined and interested enough.  All they must do is care enough.” Some of the most important things to do in this situation are explained below.

  • Make sure you understand the child’s view on this situation first and foremost. Do not assume that you already know what they are thinking or what they might need. Making sure that you stay personal before anything else is the key to breaking the ice.
  • Help your adolescent develop a routine/schedule. Help them organize their daily in-house activities and try to make them fun. Do not forget to include exercise in their daily routine – you guys could always go together for a run or a longer walk. Including homework in their schedules is well to ensure that they are not running behind on schoolwork.
  • Talk to your child about the pros and cons of being in lockdown and be open to answering any questions. Let them ask whatever they need to and encourage them to express their feelings. If you feel like there is something to their emotions that could be further explored, do not hesitate to ask questions yourself. It is important that children know that they have their parents’ support at all times. Showing them how much you care about their emotions is a great first step.
  • Limit screen time as much as you can. Just because they are in the house, it does not mean that they must spend their time watching TV or playing video games all day. Interaction is the key to developing empathy and emotion-based response. If you let them be captivated and captured by the screen, they will subconsciously be taught that interaction is screen-based and thus, not real. It is your job as a parent to teach them that interaction is based in the real world and between real people.
  • Have them reach out to their friends on social media and other online platforms. They could chat, play online games, and have a blast together! Helping them stay in touch with their peers is a beautiful way of showing them that they are not the only children experiencing this problem, and that this is definitely not their fault. You are teaching them that “this is how it is,” not that “you are the cause that this is.”

How does the pandemic affect parents?

About 13-15% of parents had to reduce their work hours during the pandemic because of a lack of childcare. The challenges that this pandemic has brought to parents are not minimal either. With such increased responsibility comes less free time and, of course, more stress. Mothers are struggling to keep track of their kids’ schedules while also keeping track of their own, while dads are putting in all the effort to work from home. Here some of the most widely seen stressors during this time:

  • The health and the safety of the family. Parents are concerned that children might not be safe during these times. Families might also lack financial resources previously available.
  • Child learning and education. Moms are usually concerned that their children might not get the necessary information through the online environment and that children could lack important skills while growing up.
  • The mental well-being of the parent. By having to replace kids’ social interaction with personal time, parents might get overwhelmed. They might need a break from all the stress created in the house and around the pandemic to relax and regroup.
  • Job losses are also the main concern as many parents have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
  • The inconsistency in productivity makes parents concerned about lacking the necessary resources for their children.

How can parents cope with the stress created by the pandemic?

Here are some of the healthiest ways in which you can cope with coronavirus-related stress.

  • Know what you have to do in case you are sick, or your children are getting sick.
  • Know what the symptoms are and how you can learn to recognize them.
  • Make sure you are in charge of your emotional and mental health. Take time for yourself every single day. If you cannot do that throughout the day, you can do it at the beginning or end of each day. Meditate, read, take a relaxing bath – whatever makes you feel relaxed.
  • Take some breaks from watching too much news. It’s okay to be informed but over-hearing facts and stats can be truly tiring.
  • Eat well and exercise daily to stay in shape.
  • Connect with your community and friends as much as you can and don’t forget to journal about your feelings.

Conclusion

Coronavirus has changed things around but if you are your children take care of yourselves, things do not have to be as stressful. You could take this time and make the best out of it instead of complaining about the situation – the letter option will only add to the stress. Stay healthy and keep your head up!

Author Bio: Tiffany Harper is a journalist and a freelance writer, who consults one of the best college paper writing services like Essay Papers and Write My Essay. Her work on human psychology has helped her to develop in many social areas like self-improvement and self-motivation. Tiffany is currently living in California and writing his own book. Please do not hesitate to contact her on twitter.

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