The COVID-19 pandemic has implications beyond physical health. The pandemic has a deeper and long-lasting impact on the mental health of kids.
Have you observed that since your child has to stay at home during circuit breaker or observe social distancing rules in school, their excitement levels have dropped down and they get irritated quickly? Many parents are noticing visible changes in the behaviour of children of all ages since the pandemic has impacted the way our lives used to be.
Dearth of team activities and physical exercise in form of their favourite sports, hobbies, extracurricular activities, keeping away from their regular interactions with peers are some of the unwanted developments impacting the mental well-being of students.
Watch a webinar on managing mental health of students, an initiative by GIIS.
Ways in which COVID-19 is impacting the mental health of students
These are just a few of the ways that students are being impacted emotionally and socially by the virus:
- Depending on their age, students may begin to show signs of loneliness in a variety of ways. Some students may express their emotions through tears or anger, while others may begin to show a lack of interest in activities they once loved.
- The typical routine is disrupted, and students do not necessarily understand the new daily timetable. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and stress, especially in younger children who are not prepared to independently engage in home based learning or feel better during physical interaction during the lessons.
- Students are not able to pursue their favourite hobbies in sports, dance or theatre. For many, this leaves them feeling agitated. They may begin to act out in ways like becoming more demanding on parents.
- Students are spending more time inside, and they do not have as many outlets to release their excess energy. This can have an impact on their general mood and can leave them feeling antsy and restless.
Common signs of stress in children that parents and teachers should be aware of include unexplained and sudden headaches and body aches, change in sleeping or eating habits, inability to focus or pay attention, behaviour regression and change in school performance.
Tips for Parents to Help Kids Overcome Mental Health Issues Associated with Coronavirus
These are useful tips that can help parents overcome the mental trauma that students may be experiencing because of the pandemic:
- Provide children with accurate and honest information about the pandemic. Explain, as simply as possible, that life may be different for the foreseeable future. Explain the importance of following social distancing protocols. Answer any questions that they have in an honest, age-appropriate way.
Read a related article on WHO website.
- Discover mindfulness practices together that can help ease anxiety. Try a new yoga video online with your child, or meditate together.
- Make time for physical activity at home. Go out in the yard and toss a frisbee, or jump on the trampoline together.
- Create a new at-home routine that you can stick to it. A routine can provide the structure your child needs to feel confident and secure throughout the crisis.
- Schedule video conferences with extended family members who live outside the home. Set up virtual play dates with their friends. Children often feel very connected during online video chats, and it can help ease the crippling feelings of loneliness that they may be experiencing.
- Limit the amount of news coverage that you watch in front of your children. Provide your children with the information based on their age and their own response to the pandemic.
While this worldwide pandemic is something that most people have never experienced before, teachers and administrators at Global Indian International School have quickly come together to provide students with innovative options to help them stay connected.
The school also launched a Mental Healthline where the students can get in touch with the schools Student Counsellor and talk out about any mental issues, also beyond COVID related issues. A dedicated helpline number has been set up which will connect the child to the counsellor with the promise of complete anonymity. GIIS Healthline is active in all campuses around the world. For GIIS SMART Campus and East Coast Campus, the number is +65 9723 4938.
For more information on what GIIS is doing to slow the spread and keep its community engaged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, contact us today.