Keep track of your children mental health during the lockdown

Keep track of your children mental health during the lockdown
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 15-03-2023

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The coronavirus pandemic is causing a major threat, which can only be tackled by staying at home. Sheltering in place during a group lockdown could protect you and your children from the risk of infection. However, the pandemic effect is changing from physical well-being to financial realities and emotional overload.

 In addition to concerns about physical health and education, parents are also likely to be concerned about the impact on the mental health of their children, not just about fears about coronavirus but also about the long-term effect of lockdown.

Children look to their parents for clues as to how to relate to their world. In this situation when parents seem stressed, their children feel stressed. Coronavirus can scare children now, which could cause emotional problems for months or even years to come. If a child feels overwhelmed by a continuous flow of sad or frightening news, they do not understand it leads to confusion about how the world as they know it has changed. This is especially troubling with young children who have no life experience or vocabulary to tell adults what hurts in their lives. Talking about emotions is essential to mental health.

If you are worried and feel like a hopeless situation. Here is what you can do to help them cope:

Make a routine for the day
Try to organize the day with online school schedules, room to have fun, relax, and prepare some fun exercises. One of your routines could include catching up with family and friends on video calls or voice calls.

Be honest with them
Depending on what age your child is, they will have a different grasp on the reality of the situation. It’s important to encourage them to talk to you about their anxieties so you can do your best to ease their concerns. In very young children, anxiety might show itself in prolonged episodes of crying, aggressive behaviours, disturbed sleep patterns, and/or not wanting to be separated from the primary carer.
Also, remember to share your own feelings too. Being a good role model means being open about how you’re feeling yourself. It’s ok to be worried and concerned. And to reassure your child that these are completely normal feelings given the circumstance.

Do scribble with them
There'll be loads of pens, pencils and crayons around right now – put them to good use with some word and art therapy. Encourage them to draw and write about their feelings, drawing and writing about feelings can help your child understand more about themselves and in turn, can help you support them at this time of crisis.

Seek professional help
If you're really worried, it might be time to seek out a child psychologist to speak about the concern. You can reach out to the services, available through HopeQure, to find a child behavioural therapist who can work with your child, can help you understand your child's problem, and give you personalized advice to overcome it.

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