Kids and COVID lockdown
It might surprise you to know, that a number of counselling bodies in my hometown and anecdotal stories I have heard relating to children and settling back into a school routine highlight the increased anxiety of children and strain on family relations based on the pressures of facing life BACK in the ‘outside’ world after lockdown 1.0.
Generally speaking, the end of lockdown was seen as a ‘good’ thing for everyone. Especially in terms of the mental well-being of children. Whilst in many senses this is undoubtedly true, it also seems to be true that in some cases this has led to an increase in child anxiety and a decrease in the feeling that children have that they can share their thoughts with adults. This has led to the ‘school days are the best in your life’ syndrome, as I like to call it (but no one else!). Some children feel that they won’t be listened to if they speak, some children feel there must be something ‘wrong’ with them if they feel there is something not quite right in the post lockdown world. Quite often their world will have changed dramatically through parental unemployment, not seeing relatives, changes at school etc and uncertainty.
All the social pressures that were there before lockdown are still there now. Children are out of the secure and familiar, yet boring environment of home and having to navigate physical friendship/social politics, peer pressure, bullying, standing out, sporting/academic achievement, appearance, personal hygiene, stages of puberty etc, all of which are presumably as confusing as they were before.
Therefore – be kind, be patient, trying not to ask too many questions (this usually results in monosyllabic responses), reassure them, try to have a conversation when doing something else, tell them you are just ‘checking in’ and it’s not a big deal. Most important, remember it’s not about you, it is about them.