Bollywood actress Sameera Reddy has drawn attention to a very important issue amidst the COVID-19 crisis in India. On an emotional note, she spoke about the anxiety that kids are facing in self-quarantine and being a mother of two, she too was experiencing the same thing.
In an instagram post, the actress, who is married to entrepreneur Akshai Varde and became the proud parent of two kids, wrote that the most important thing right now for her was the mental health of children.
She added, "I have put signs of deep anxiety in children on this post. Please look at it. Even if your kid is bit short right now and impatient and cannot handle this, talk and just be there for them. Make them feel safe, just be honest. Give things to do but a routine is just not going to do it. It’s gonna cut it if you are actually there for them. This is a time for that, this is a time for that".
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It hurts me that Hans is exposed to the paranoia and fear. But this is the new normal . And imagine if we feel anxiety they feel it even more . Signs of deep anxiety in children -finding it hard to concentrate. -not sleeping, or waking in the night with bad dreams. -not eating properly. -quickly getting angry or irritable, and being out of control during outbursts. -constantly worrying or having negative thoughts. -feeling tense and fidgety, or using the toilet often. -always crying. -being clingy. -complaining of tummy aches and feeling unwell s 🙏🏼 please be aware and communicate with your child . It’s important . Keeping them busy is a good thing but talking to them and being honest about the situation is recommended . Make them feel safe. Lots of hugs and lots of patience . ❤️#staysafe #stayhome #mentalhealth #children #lockdown
So what are the symptoms that your kids are anxious and stressed out?
Sahiba Rattan Sethi, a child counselling psychologist in Jaipurc said the lack of any physical activity, being cooped up in small apartments, unable to interact with friends and suddenly with nothing else to do but sit in front of the TV is creating irritation, impatience, and depression in children.
“While the physical aspect can be worked out, the mental aspect is a tad more complicated. Mental disorders that parents should watch out for in times of lockdown in their kids include depression, anxiety attacks, excessive OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) ADHD, eating disorders, and adjustment problems. Symptoms indicating the above include withdrawing into yourself, displaying behaviour out of the ordinary, excessive mood swings, temper tantrums, excessive sleeping, repetitive mundane actions, and excess or lack of appetite", Sethi told Sputnik.
Medha Shidore, a child and adolescent counsellor, said during the lockdown children face several emotional, behavioural, and physical problems.
“They will and must have a lot of questions about the social situation. And these questions give rise to a variety of emotions like fear of dying, fear about scarcity of food at home, death of a close family member, boredom, etc. But I feel it is extremely important to understand and answer the thoughts behind their anxieties because these anxieties can also turn into recurrent thoughts of loneliness, fear and negativity trapped somewhere in their subconscious mind", Shidore told Sputnik.
“Some traits can also show a complete personality reversal. A very lethargic/procrastinating child may show patterns of responsible behaviour. This is because they are constantly in the ‘Identity Formation’ phase. This phase is surely going to demonstrate some psychological changes in your child’s life and it’s beautiful to notice and accept those I feel", she added.
So what’s the cure?
Kamakshi and Vishala Khurana, founders of The Sound Space, a one of a kind organisation that develops modules, workshops, and interactive sessions with music at its heart has programmes designed for both adults and children. They felt that it's best to find ways of keeping your children engaged in different things.
“Keep having healthy conversations about what's going on around. Family game time or music time is always a great way of keeping a positive atmosphere. Having a routine is an excellent way of spending the time in a constructive way", they told Sputnik.
Shidore elucidated that it’s the job of parents not ignore or neglect children’s responses or expressions or questions.
“If unanswered, they can result into extreme anxieties or phobias, fears and even psychosomatic illnesses. Make your child emotionally stronger! Play board games and card games with them. Let them win at times; they have absolutely no peer to compete with. These small competitions can elevate their ego", she said.
According to life coach Abhijita Kulshreshta, addiction to gadgets is a real thing and due to a lack of any other means to entertain oneself, children might find themselves spending more time with mobiles, tablets, and gaming consoles.
“The thing to understand loud and clear is that interpersonal relationships are hard work. They do not run on autopilot. However, the motivating fact is that the hard work on this front yields large rewards as well. You definitely don’t want your children to become controlling individuals who are unable to cope with the adjustment required – working, living or interacting with other individuals will require it constantly. Schools may not teach children to get in touch with their feelings. Parents can and very effectively", said Kulshreshta.
“In these conditions, the best you can do is to ensure that children drink enough water and exercise in some manner, whether it is dancing to some music or helping with chores or aerobics of any sort", he told Sputnik.
The current lockdown will continue until 14 April, which is an effort to break the COVID-19 infection cycle. According to federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry data, there were 1,024 confirmed cases of infection as of 29 March, including 48 foreign nationals. Some 27 people have lost their lives.