Making Sure Your Child Stays Happy During the Pandemic
The global pandemic has taken a toll on millions of peoples’ mental health. Although to some this may not be considered to be severe, for others it is. The issue with mental health is also significant for developing children and teens. Whether children are suffering from anxiety, depression, or any other mental health disorder, they are suffering during their developing years which makes it a lot harder on them. Another severe issue with this is that students are not in school, so the school counselors are less likely to be able to help unless the student reaches out.
Many times during pre-COVID school years, teachers or other students could tell a counselor when another student was experiencing a rough patch, and the counselor reached out. Not many students feel comfortable to reach out first when they are struggling. It is important to watch over children and make sure they are handing these unprecedented times in a healthy way. Below are some things to look out for and to try to keep steady in everyday routine.
Children and teens suffering from eating disorders is definitely not uncommon. There are tons of stigmas and images that kids try to keep up with, and oftentimes it is in an unhealthy way. Pre-covid and in school, students had a designated lunch and snack time where people could monitor their eating habits. When students are home alone doing online school, no one is there to ensure that they are eating enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle. With that being said, it is important to implement a specific eating window for children during online school, where they can have a regular routine.
Getting Fresh Air
It was common for students to get recess when they were in school, and that is so they can move around and get some fresh air. It is so important to ensure students are doing this with online school, especially since they are staring at a computer screen all day long. Encourage walks, scooter or bike rides, watering the flowers, walking the dogs, anything to get them outside and get some fresh air.
Although there is a concern with public settings and seeing people outside of your family, it is crucial to have students be around other students. It helps with character development, emotional development, communication skills, and so much more. Children and teens having company will also help them with decision making skills.
Sports or Other Extracurricular Activities
Maintaining participation in extracurricular activities including athletics is another important factor in a positive mental health. Sometimes, the only thing in a child’s day is school and sleeping. That leaves plenty of time for negative thoughts or potential actions. It is important for them to maintain a hobby to have something to look forward to and work towards. It is also important, especially in athletics, to teach a child young that it is more than okay to lose. Teaching a young person how to accept failure, or not being the best, is so important for character development and for being able to control emotions as they grow up.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as children do online school. Keep in mind what life was like for them, or how it was supposed to be for them before the shutdown and try to give them a life as close to that as possible while continuing to be safe!