Last week I wrote about the academic impact the extended school closures are having on our children. While this is a valid and worrisome issue, many experts suggest we should also focus some of our concerns on the emotional impact the increased isolation is having as well. In fact, I think that the emotional toll this extended time in isolation is having on our children may be even longer lasting and more detrimental than the academic impact.
It is certain that any given situation can affect individuals differently, and this is no less true for children during this time of such uncertainty. As Hannah Sheldon-Dean from the Child Mind Institute discusses, some children will experience trauma while many more will experience an adjustment disorder and associated anxiety.
Anxiety seems to be an ever-increasing constant in our children’s lives, but the extreme nature of circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may be creating an environment in which children will have even more difficulty processing the world around them. Some of the most prevalent factors I have observed contributing to the increased anxiety seem to be:
Perhaps something to keep in mind as well is that these fears and anxieties are not specific to younger children. We will most likely see these difficulties of adjusting in our middle school and high school students. How our schools prepare for this eventuality and what we, ourselves, can do will be my next topic of discussion.
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