Everyone is affected by coronavirus, and we have all have experienced some kind of loss, even if we’ve been fortunate enough not to lose someone close to us.
Loss of a rite of passage (no exams, end of school prom, final class photos – the list goes on). No proper goodbye to primary school life. No normal birthday celebrations. Loss of physical contact with friends, boyfriends or girlfriends. Loss of the normal, social connection that all of us need.
Social media means that young people can be better connected than ever before, and many relationships have even flourished during lockdown. That said, young people acknowledge that this can’t replace face-to-face contact.
Whether you share the house with babies, toddlers or teenagers, most kids have attention span of a maximum of 15 minutes. This means parents are in need of some creative ideas to keep them occupied so you can do some work from home
According to psychologists, the most important advice for parents is to listen and validate their child’s feelings.
“I think the best thing would be to listen and sympathise,” says educational psychologist Elenid Glyn.
“Adults feel the need to keep their kids happy all the time, but kids aren’t happy all the time. It’s important we don’t rush to say, ‘tut, you’re fine,’ when they’re telling you they’re not. We need to validate their feelings. There’s no right or wrong emotion.”
Psychologists say it is too early to say what the effect of long-term social distancing might have on only children. There has not been an academic study as yet.
So how can you, as a parent or carer, help your child deal with the losses they are having to endure throughout this lockdown?
Well, the airline Emirates has come up with some novel ideas, all available online, to help fill what can feel like endless hours stuck at home with young kids.
It has come up with a dedicated website where the kids, with a bit of help from the grown ups, can do everything from bake a tasty treat and create art in a colouring book to send a postcard to family and friends and enjoy games and puzzles.
A company spokesman said, “The website aims to help kids discover ways to make home-learning more fun. It gives parents the chance to keep the kids creative and entertained with puzzles, colouring sheets, recipes, activities and more. Whether it’s calm afternoons of arts and crafts, cooking a new recipe, evening storytelling or family board games, there’s plenty of fun for the whole family.
“Now that we’re all seeing more of home than we’re used to, it’s the perfect chance to get extra creative and keep spirits high.”