Prodhonya Issue 1 Article 11

The pandemic and mental health of children 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the lives of people around the world, including children and adolescents. Closure of schools, educational centres and activity areas as modalities of prevention from the disease has rendered children isolated from their peers and significant others. These often lead to stress, anxiety and feelings of helplessness in children.  

Researches indicate that, to find ‘comfort’ or ‘relief’ from this distressing mental state, children are becoming highly dependent on mobile phones and other electronic gadgets. It is to be remembered that ‘children tend to learn from our actions, not our words’, so, limiting the use of mobile phones to a minimum in the household is necessary. 

At these testing times, parents are advised to spend as much time as they can with their children and engage in open and interactive discussions about “emotions” and “feelings”. Engaging in some sort of fun physical activity like dancing, and stimulating play activities (which does not include screen time) would help elevate the mood and build a strong bond between parents and child. However, it is advisable to consult a professional when parents notice the following things: children becoming isolated/withdrawn, changes in sleep or appetite pattern, not engaging in activities that they previously enjoyed, getting tired too easily or having less energy than before and experiencing frequent shifts in mood.  

Let’s guide the children towards a happy quarantine in their homes, not a sad one in their minds! 

Debanjali Basu 

Psychologist  

Research Scholar, Clinical Psychology