Educateroyals

Supporting children’s mental health.

By: Blessing Adedimeji Adeyanju.

Updated on May 21 , 2020.

At this time where most social activities are disrupted, children must have been communicating how much they have missed the routines they enjoy. While some may communicate it verbally, some may communicate it through body language; showing how deeply unsatisfied they are with the new order of things. At this point, the desire to be in school, church, and mosque e.t.c. may be more intense for them.

Children also go through a lot.
Photo credit: Persnickety Prints. Source: Unsplash

While we collective fight against Covid-19, we individually fight for our mental health. Children have their own thoughts and would be left to battle a whole lot in their minds if they are not strategically handled and guided with accurate information that will foster healthy thoughts in them. As parents, guardians, and teachers prevent Covid -19 from getting to children through social distancing, we are automatically handed the task of improving our children’s mental health in the face of disrupted social activities.

Social distancing is a strange concept to children, and it’s a thing they would probably not give consent to if they consider its effect on their well—being. Because they never gave consent to social distancing, children may begin to feel they are being held against their will. And it is possible that people who have been held in social isolation against their will may develop long-term mental health conditions (Robinson, 2019).

Therefore, to avoid long-term mental health conditions on our children, it is necessary to clearly explain what the world is currently facing and why it is not safe to have physical contacts at this point. By this, they will begin to show approval and have their minds prepared to endure the disrupted social activities.

Reassuring statements that the society would be restored to normal would also give them hope that things would be well again.

Kids are at the receiving ends of the effect of covid -19. For their survival this period, they might need to learn different skills that will make them cope with the present situation. The pressure of learning different skills at a time may weigh them down, making them incapable of being productive in their daily activities. While children struggle to cope with living, it is essential for parents and guardians to be readily available so as to avoid the feeling of being neglected.

As children are trying to cope with the new way things turned out to be, they may try to take positive risks. Trying out new things would help build their confidence. Children may want to try to be confident around adults; they may try things like jumping on adults, taking their mobile phones, and trying all sorts of unusual things. They may want to play with adults just as they play with their peers. All these help their confidence. Parents and guardians should be sensitive to these unusual patterns and should handle children with care as they work towards gaining confidence. While children may not know the appropriate way to play with adults, adults may be of help in guiding children to play in a less dangerous way. During this period, children who are restricted and not given attention whenever they want to play may feel rejected and may even feel less confident to take positive leaps ( Kelly, n.d.).

Let children feel safe in your arms.
Photo credit: Jordan Whitt. Source: Unsplash

Your children will only grow with you if they feel safe. They will only learn to see the beauty of their world when they are safe from the humiliation, the put downs, the harsh criticism, and being ignored (Mitchell, 2007). Then, to help children’s mental health, this period, parents and guardians must always learn to appreciate children’s views. We must understand that there is a huge difference between children’s and adult’s perceptions. Children’s perception is based on their experiences. And because they have little experience in life, they may not be able to think in adults’ capacity. Therefore, adults must understand this and tolerate them so as to guarantee their mental health.

REFERENCES
Kelly, K. (n.d). Why kids who learn and think differently might feel lonely. Retrieved from: http://www.understood.org.

Mitchell, K. (2007). Helping children to see and appreciate their world. Retrieved from: http://www.cyc-net.org

Robinson, S. (2019). Total Isolation: what happens to your brain after 30 days spent alone. Retrieved from: www.inverse.com

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