Effect of Pandemic on Children’s brain & the role of parents

What are the impacts of Pandemic on Children’s mental health ?

Why these kind of changes are seen in children ?

  • Changes in their daily routine lives causing a sense of insecurity.
  • No School- deprives them of their social interaction, engaging in active learning and meaningful play leading to boredom, loneliness, insecurity, low self esteem.
  • Fear of sickness of themselves or their loved ones.
  • Less engagement in outside play activities- which is very very essential part of their life- crucial for their physical, mental, social, cognitive, development ; therefore affecting all these areas.
  • Online sessions & academic expectations.
  • Outing during vacation or even weekends are also restricted, causing a huge mental stress in them.

Why these conditions are even more stressful for children with special needs ?

  • First of all, kids with special needs usually have a hard time coping with any small changes in their daily routine, and due to long periods of lockdown there has been huge changes in their routine all of a sudden leading to stress, anxiety and depression…
  • Kids with special needs are usually engaged throughout the day in school and various therapy sessions. When all of a sudden they are restricted to their homes, it’s highly stressful for them.
  • Since kids with special needs usually cannot express their feelings like other normal kids, it’s even more challenging as they can’t express how they are feeling and when it’s too overwhelming for them, they show all kinds of tantrums and other behaviour problems.
  • Since engagement in play activities is reduced, which is highly essential for development of all areas of a child, it leads to regression.
  • Staying at home means a lot more screen time rather than other normal days — leading to lack of attention, less intrest to communicate or socialize, less intrest in play activities.
  • Engage more in lots of different games (outdoor games whenever possible). Get creative !!
  • Develop new hobbies
    Lockdown is a great chance to practice your hobbies or learn new ones !
  • Engage them in age appropriate Household chores
    Kids love to be of help !
    Engaging your kids in household chores everyday, helps build their confidence, self esteem, gives them a sense of worthiness & makes them more responsible, confident and independent adults !
  • Meditation and yoga
    Practicing meditation and yoga every single day helps relax the mind and body
    Which is very important during these times…
  • Appreciation goes a long way !
  • Ask them about how they feel
  • If your child is upset or feeling depressed, he might be disinterested to do some daily tasks like engaging in some activities or online sessions, or even not willing to take food. If your child is doing any of these, it’s time that instead of scolding him or forcing him to do the task, we should ask him how he is feeling ? Is he upset or feeling overwhelmed ?
  • Self care
  • Reduce exposure to news about the pandemic as much as possible
    Yes, watching too much news is creating a lot of unnecessary panic and anxiety among everyone !
  • Play group games in family
    Play group games with your family like ludo, carrom, card games, and other games appropriate for your child ! Watch movies together !

Positive aspects of lockdown

  • Lockdown is a great time to improve bonding between parents and children.
  • Both parents and children get engaged in fun play activities which helps to release stress and enhance the creativity.
  • This is the time we are more aware of our health than ever before ! Parents as well as children focus more on healthy living by eating healthy and involving in physical activities regularly to improve their immunity as well.
  • Parents have more free time to do things they love to do, to pursue their hobbies when they are free from everyday stress of workload.

If you have any questions, you can mail it to me at :- abhipsaot21@gmail.com .

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Abhipsa Parida

Abhipsa Parida

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My name is Abhipsa Parida. I am an occupational therapist and I have been handling kids with special needs since 6 years. I run my own clinic in Bhubaneswar