What Has The Pandemic Really Done To Toddler Development?
before COVID-19 The epidemic started, my child’s social life was very bad. He went to an in-home daycare center that he usually loved. They used to have dance parties every day. They celebrated each other’s birthday. The other children hugged my son when we unloaded him in the morning and on more than one occasion the cheers exploded. It was a very lovely place.
Still, when that daycare abruptly stopped last March, my child, then about 2, was happy. He was home every day with his parents and elder brother. While the rest of us struggled to adjust to the new rhythm of the lockdown, she missed the extra family time.
But now, he has been at home with us all day, every day for a year – for more than a third of his life – and I am beginning to worry a little about the long-term effects of this separation. It is not that his days are full of drama and rich outings. On the homefront, he often (sorry, kid!) Tries his dad and I and cries at work. She has become really shy around strangers. His sleep is … bad.
Are these epidemics related? Or just baby-ness?
HuffPost Parents Speak to Many Experts About the Impact Epidemic The lowest is on the kiddos – especially given that it is not at all clear when we will return to any normalcy.
Overall, experts are not really concerned about toddlers.
Substantial evidence has emerged that the epidemic has damaged the mental health and emotional development of many people, which many surveys reveal 60% of teenagers say they are single To Deeply disturbing 24% leaping federal data Mental health related emergency room visits between 5- to 11-year-olds.
“I’m worried about the children’s epidemic being affected,” said Abre HargisA parenting coach and writer “Toddler Discipline for All Ages and Stages: TAM Tantrums, Overcome Challenge, and Effective Strategies to Grow Your Child. “But this is not the child I am worried about.”
This is because at the end of the day, children need to be in a comfortable, safe environment with a nurturing caregiver. If those needs are being met – and this is a big “if” because for many families, that during a pandemic is a deep challenge – then children really should just heal, she said.
Lockdown and social distance have not, after all, largely limited the world of small kiddos.
“All the things that are needed to grow toddlers are still likely to happen: to play with toys or other objects, to climb some furniture, to learn how to stock socks, to put dirty spaghetti sauce to your senses. To engage in. And an adult or siblings talk to them to develop receptive and expressive language skills.
For toddlers, ‘socialization’ is not necessarily the way many parents think.
A big reason is that toddler experts are not really concerned about how 1, 2 and 3 year olds could be harmed by the epidemic? Toddlers make a lot of their development through play, but do not require a lot of friends to play at this level.
“At this age, toddlers usually engage in ‘parallel play’ rather than ‘cooperative play’,” Hargis explained. “Two children can have a lot of fun on a play date, but they are playing side-by-side with toys rather than making decisions about working together to solve problems. Parallel play is something parents instinctively do with their children anyway. At this age there is no need to worry about the lack of peer interaction. “
This is the reason Studies generally do not bear the idea that preschool programs Experts once believe that social, emotional and educational benefits may occur. Safe, reliable group care for children is an essential service because it allows parents to work and because it can be an important way of connecting young children to health services, food, but purely development From the point of view, it is not necessary for the young. Development of children.
So while caring for young children during a year of lockout, parents should really think wholeheartedly that they are actually giving their children everything they need emotionally and developmentally.
“I think parents underestimate how much they can do with their children in their home.” Becky Kennedy, New York City Clinical Psychologist.
But parents: check on your stress levels.
Decades of research have shown Parental stress and depression can hinder children’s emotional and behavioral development. So while experts are not generally concerned that children are missing major milestones of development during an epidemic, they can Huh Worried that parents may inadvertently transfer fears and anxieties to their children. As Kennedy Keep it: Young children really “notice and feel everyone’s emotions and everyone’s stress.”
But this does not mean that parents should hide all their struggles and feelings from their young children. If anything, they should be more open.
Without it, Kennedy said, “Without talking to our kids about the changes they’ve made, about the stresses in their house, about the schedule changes, why we wear masks, that we Why can’t some people see … “Our children explain all the stress in such a ‘corona’ year without a parental story. “
And that the combination of noticing the changes and tensions around them without a reliable adult (in an appropriate way) explanation can lead to self-blame and self-doubt, Kennedy warned. The toddlers may think that they have somehow made these changes themselves, or suspect that they have somehow misunderstood everyone’s emotional state.
So it is important for parents of children – who are under significant stress these days – to take a look at their own emotional state, and get help if necessary. This is not such an easy task for families, but it is already very important.
It is also important to validate the open dialogue with children about COVID-19 and to make their parents aware of the practical changes. Calm and reassured and ask them what they know. And if they don’t want to talk about it or really don’t care, don’t push it!
Think of your toddlers’ behavior as if there is a “window” into their inner lives, Kennedy said. So if you are worried that the past years have actually been emotionally damaging for them, then change into matters like sleep, Tantrums, And Sibling rivalry.
“The biggest thing we see is how a child works? Kennedy said. “And what is a child going to do? Can the child still play? Can the child still have some happiness? If the parents are really struggling, or they feel that their child is really struggling I will remind them that there are many opportunities to get help. “