I wrote on November 16th 2020 about the potential negative effects that being OUT of the lockdown 1.0 might be having on ‘kids’ – and to that I would probably add the number of adults (myself included!).
Well, history seems to be repeating itself. The government has announced a timetable for the easing of lockdown restrictions. Sure enough there is evidence, very much anecdotal at this early stage, to indicate that the same worries and anxieties exist about returning into society, and for most kids that includes a form of state mandated torture, e.g., school.
I have heard stories of anxiety around COVID testing at school, not be able to catch up and being christened ‘thick’ for evermore, and there is no point because there will be lockdown 3.0 anyway. Exposure to the opposite sex, or anyone of any sex has been minimal. I can now just ‘cut and paste’ large chunks all my previous post because all the issues that existed before, still exist now.
Namely, the social pressures that were there before lockdown 1.0 and 2.0 are still there now. In fact, you might argue that a large part of these issues stems from growing up, puberty and developing an identity they are comfortable with. Children will be 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. Again, because of the overriding sense that easing the lockdown is ‘a good thing’, I can again cut and paste the chunk of my previous post – 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. 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.
Food for thought – if they do ask a question / share a thought – even if it is nonsense, trying not to show impatience / dismissive body language. Don’t try and joke / use sarcasm (unless you are very sure of yourself!) be kind, be patient, try not to ask too many questions (this usually results in monosyllabic responses), reassure them, try to have a conversation when doing something else (chopping veg, setting the table etc) – although not watching screen! Allow yourself to be the butt of a joke, the subject of some gentle collective family ribbing, if they ask, say you’re just checking in on them and that you love them. They will probably think you’re a weirdo, and might say as much, let them have the last word or just blame me!