What Does Social Isolation Mean For Children?

  • AUTHOR: isbah
  • POSTED ON: April 2, 2020

A lot of jokes are going around on the internet about how it is difficult for working parents to entertain their children during social isolation and that they keep disturbing them during important calls from work. From a parent’s perspective, this is understandable but having a childhood where you are restricted to your house and cannot meet your friends is a little depressing.

Source: Daily Excelsior

Just imagine that you are 5 and want to go biking with your friends but parents say no because there is coronavirus outside. You want to visit your grandma and hug her but parents say no because she is old and therefore more prone to the virus. You want to go to class and show the amazing artwork to your teacher but parents say no because schools are closed as coronavirus can spread anywhere.

The stay at home rule is particularly difficult for children as they are going through the age where the brain is still developing and so it is naturally curious to explore everything in sight.

It is tough for adults to make them understand that going outdoors can be a risk to their health but when boredom takes a toll, kids act out. This is why many parents find it difficult to keep their kids busy with indoor activities since their work also demands attention and the burden of paying bills also keeps increasing with each day. 

Source: No Isolation

Even though kids who are in their early teens can keep in contact with their friends via Zoom or other platforms, nothing can replace the warmth of meeting them in person and going on adventures.

For older teens, their future looks uncertain because most of their exams are delayed and college applications are not going to respond anytime soon as all the institutions around the world have closed. Now imagine you are standing on the brink of adulthood with already so many questions related to identity and future but suddenly everything goes blank.

Source: Twitter

No one is sure about the duration of social isolation as the models prepared by researchers can only predict the situation and experts believe that this prolonged period can greatly affect children’s development. They might experience stress and anxiety and kids with disabilities who have learned to socialize and interact with other neurotypical humans might go through certain setbacks as there is no support of social services.

Other than that, children who live in abusive households where domestic voice and hitting your kids are a norm, might experience extreme mental health issues so it is important to keep checking on children around you.

Source: Nami.org

Mental illnesses are already quite prevalent today in millennials and Generation Z and many kids rely on weekly or monthly sessions with their therapists to function properly. However, now that this would not be a possibility, psychologists are expected to remain in touch with their patients especially if they are young and struggling with the isolation.

Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, says “When it comes to kids, they are such sensory beings. They live with their whole bodies. This is a really sudden and difficult change for them, because it’s not the same to see your peers through a video chat or a Zoom meeting.”

So even though you have a lot of responsibilities, it is important to show compassion towards your children and keep an eye around for those kids who usually face issues at home.

Updated April 2, 2020
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