LONELINESS IN KIDS
Loneliness in kids has become a common phenomenon in the pandemic season because of the lock down.
Schools are shut and they cannot go out to play. Children are missing their school friends, teachers and the muddy puddles in the playground of their schools.
Schools are an integral part of a child’s life, as Albert Einstein said: “Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honour it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.”
School plays a great role in the social development of a child. But because of the pandemic kids are now confined in their homes. They haven’t met or seen any of their school friends for long. There is hardly any social interaction. The social rhythm of their lives has been interrupted.
Life has changed overnight for them. Kids have become well acquainted with words like “social distancing” and “home quarantine”. But the new words have added only fear and stress in their minds. Pandemic isolation is hard to bear and kids are specially finding it difficult to adjust to this “new normal”.
Parents should be cautious and take care of the loneliness in kids.
Here are few tips how to deal with the loneliness in kids during the lock down:
#1 Be supportive: Parents need to show support to their children. We all know that we are going through a very difficult time. It’s more difficult for a child. Parents need to listen, discuss and chat with kids about their problems and help them develop better coping mechanism. Sometimes simple words such as “I understand how difficult it is to cope with the situation” or “This too shall pass” or “Everything will be okay”, help kids to overcome their anxieties, fears and depression.
#2 Keep children engaged: Parents need to keep their children active. In home, parents can make kids pursue hobbies like planting trees or baking cakes. The children should be always kept engaged in some interesting activities so that they forget their fears and anxieties.
#3 Help the kids to connect with their peers: Allow kids to get in touch with their friends virtually since they can’t meet their friends in person. Thankfully, this pandemic happened in 2020 when we have technology by our side. But while technology can be best friend, we should not forget about the adverse effects that the digital world might have on children. Parents should be careful and need to monitor how a child is using the technology. Several applications are available online such as FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp by which kids can do video calling with their friends and relatives.
#4 Online activities: Parents should help kids to do group activities with their friends online. Kids can play online games with their peer group. They can also engage themselves with online activities like painting or making craft together.
#5 Book club: Parents can conduct group studies online for their kids. They can form an online book club where kids can share and talk about their favourite subjects, books and authors.
#6 Virtual field trips or other events: Parents can organise virtual trips to various cities and countries to give the kids a feel of travelling. It will also educate them about a new place.
The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental well-being of many. Even many adults are finding it difficult to cope with the “new normal” and suffering from mental breakdown. So, it’s natural for kids to suffer from stress, anxiety and fear. Children are not meant to be in isolation like this. Parents should come together as a unit to help fight loneliness in kids.