Our battle against Coronavirus has brought a lot of stress and anxiety to all of us, including our young ones.
As per a new report, more than 3 million children are at risk of mental health problems resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. As per TOI, some findings have observed that in China 1 in 5 children showed depressive and anxiety symptoms under the quarantine.
The lockdown and pandemic are fueling stress, anxiety, and restlessness not only among adults but also putting our kids at a higher risk of coronavirus related mental health problems.
With school closures, online classrooms, multiple restrictions, and zero playtime outside, there have been unprecedented changes to the lives of our kids. These changes are more often than not are coupled with extreme stress, anxiety, and pressure.
Recently, a 12-year-old school girl succumbed to this pressure and she gave up on her life in Gujarat’s Rajkot. As per the reports, she was so stressed out with online classes and homework that she hung herself to death.
Amid lockdown, the girl’s father recently ran out of business. Still, after a lot of struggle, the father bought his daughter a smartphone for online classes. As per the sources, the inability to cope up with the stress of online classes and homework, and the emotional stress of not being able to meet her classmates, the 12-YO took this extreme step.
As reported by India Today, the girl was found hanging in her room on Friday, June 22. The girl was living with her parents and younger brother and was recently admitted to the Gujarati-medium school. She was promoted to Class 8 in the mass promotion drive amid the coronavirus crisis.
In the midst of lockdown, it is more important than ever that we initiate the conversation about mental health, feelings, failures, and stress with our kids.
When our kids experience a mental health crisis, they feel emotionally vulnerable and behave a little differently. They might not show symptoms like adults. It is important as a parent that we spot early signs of mental health issues.
Here are some of the early signs that may help you.
#1. Child experiences difficulty in concentrating
In the midst of extreme changes, it may get tough for our kids to focus on multiple things – extra-curricular activities to online classes and much more. One early sign of stress or mental health ailment in kids can be a sudden drop in concentration levels.
#2: Trouble during sleep
Fear, Stress, and Anxiety can seriously disturb our sleep cycles. Insomnia or other sleep trouble can point to something concerning, especially in older kids.
It is very common for our kids to undergo mood swings or engage in erratic behavior. But if there is a sudden increase in the frequency of such behaviors during the lockdown, it can be an indicator of regressive mental health. Some may encounter fits, bed-wetting, irritability, social isolation, or becoming more cranky or attached than usual.
#4: Disturbed eating patterns
Eating disorders are an important early sign of deteriorating mental health. If your kid tends to eat less or eat more than usual, is more irritable or fussy about a particular dish, or is experiencing other dietary issues, consider an intervention.
As a parent, what we can do.
Because of increasing suicides among kids, it is important for every parent to open a conversation about mental health with their kids. It might be a challenging time when our kids struggle with stress or anxiety. At IFORHER, we request you to talk to them, make them feel comfortable to express what they are feeling and ease their anxiety, instead of dismissing their behavior.
Finally, please don’t shy away from taking professional health if required.