“What will happen to me, my family, or my children if anyone of us gets infected by Coronavirus?”
In the present day, this is the most haunting question in every adult’s mind. But what is running in a young child’s mind? Do anyone of us has thought or realized?
I stay in a huge apartment and have wonderful children residing here. Usually, May month used to be full of life in my apartment. There used be children shouting, fighting, playing games, knocking down of tube lights, some neighbors scolding few little ones, evening ice cream parties, etc.. Children were accompanied by second inning’s group, the elder people sitting on square corners and having their talks. It used to be just so cheerful. This year May is different. In spite of everybody present in the apartment, it’s so quiet. Everybody is locked inside. All thanks to Coronavirus!! Everyone is adjusting to the situation. What about our children? For them it is different. They are locked inside their homes, in spite of them having endless holidays. Suddenly they are offered gadgets and mobiles to attend their online classes; they are asked to sit and watch television for hours so that they don’t demand to play outdoors. But, aren’t we making them confused or rather getting them closer to gadgets and mobiles.
So let’s see; different effects of Pandemic Coronavirus on children. There are neurological, psychological, and physiological effects on children. How? Let me explain one after another.
When children go to school, they meet their friends, have fun while playing outdoor games, gets excited about their lab periods, they have touch and feel of things around them which plays an important role for establishing new connections in the brain, which is most essential for them to learn, to take in new inputs from all channels from the outside world. Since; they are away from this; it will have a negative impact on their brains. So, give them that feeling, let them have connections, hug them often, involve them in household activities, watch along with some scientific videos or experiments on television. Let their connections in the brain be active otherwise they will fade away.
Children are not always comfortable sharing talks and feeling with their parents, they always keep waiting to meet their friends to share. But now they are away from meeting their friends. They don’t have any medium to share and hence they start getting depressed because they are not able to share their emotions and feelings. Parents! start watching and observing your children, if you find a change in them please talk to them. I have often chats. Give them time to call and talk to their friends. If possible arrange a video call once in 15 days. All this will make them feel better and they will not have a feeling of depression.
Since everything has changed so their regular schedule is. No fixed time for meals, sleeping, waking up, doing daily chores. They are more confined in sitting in one place for long then moving around because they are more playing indoor games and board games. While sitting and doing any activity for longer like playing games and watching television, they are prone to snacking often. All of this will directly affect them physically. They are likely to develop laziness, they might lose interest in playing outdoor games and they might be prone to obesity.
These are the effects. Now how to prevent them? Firstly talk to your children honestly about things happening around. Give them knowledge about the current scenario; prepare them for possible worst consequences. They should be aware of what is happening. This will also build confidence in them; they will feel counted and shoulder responsibilities too. Teach them precautions that are required to be thought of. If you lecture them, they might forget. And if you involve them; they will remember. If they are been given gadgets and mobiles tell them it’s for their studies and just temporary. Fix time limitations for using gadgets and mobiles. Have a compulsory meal together rule for them to have a proper timely meals. Tell them they will soon go to school and things will slowly become normal but till then we all should be careful.
Special educator and child & career counsellor and parenting expert.