On the 11th of March, 2020 the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 as an epidemic. And since then, life isn’t what it was. Quarantining and extended lockdowns have severely impacted individuals. But what escapes our notice is the manner in which Covid- 19 is impacting preschoolers. Let’s closely examine how this pandemic is affecting their lives and what measures should parents take to help them cope with it. These are perhaps a few prime concerns that your preschooler could be dealing with.
1. A heightened level of Depression
It isn’t uncommon for a preschooler to suffer from depression. As a parent, it is integral to be aware of the warning signs to be able to distinguish sadness from depression. If the gloomy state prolongs for a long duration of time, if there is sudden aggression, if there is an increase in the ‘negative talk,’ if there is fear, worry or incessant headaches and stomachaches your child is most likely suffering from depression.
How to Counter this? Start off, by encouraging your child to practice positive thinking. Throw in phrases like, ‘I love doing this with you.’ Establishing a regular routine helps restore a feeling of normalcy. There also several kid-friendly apps that help a child relax and practice mindfulness.
2. Growing anxiety
With all of us constantly checking the case count and re-reading news headlines, the air is thick with fear. It’s natural for children to be in a state of anxiety. If your child has become withdrawn, experiences worry about being separated from you, or has all of a sudden become a stickler for perfection it can be attributed to growing anxiety.
How to Counter this? Don’t brush away your child’s concerns rather address them. But at the same time refrain from affixing this emotion with a tag of the word ‘anxiety.’ It isn’t going to do anything to help matters. Urge your child to voice out what’s bothering him/her rather than bottling it up inside.
3. Deteriorating Mental health
With this constant misery, the deterioration of mental health is inevitable. Sullenness, sulkiness, sensitivity, or learning troubles could all be indicators of the subject in question.
How to Counter this? Engaging in enjoyable activities, listening, and not merely hearing your child is the key here, praise and strong family ties work wonders to improve your child’s mental health.
General Guidelines to make these times easier
With all of us waging war against Covid- 19, what are you doing for your little one? There’s a lot that you can do. Unnerving as the situation is you are your child’s role model. Invariably your child is going to treat the virus in the manner you perceive it. Hence, as a parent, it is critically important to maintain a positive attitude through this. A whirlwind of thoughts could be creating an explosion in your child’s mind. To gain insights into what they think, coax your child to speak, draw, or write about their concerns. In return offer them hope and reassurance and calm their fears.
Utilize free-time by including participatory activities like family projects, art activities, and song and dance sessions in the daily routine. Offer your child age-appropriate information. Your preschooler is too young to understand the complexity of the situation. You can explain the situation in a simpler way by stating there are too many germs outside hence everyone is staying indoors until the germs go away. Monitor their screen time and screen content. And most importantly, a constant flow of love is in order to help your preschooler cope with these tough times.