The era of the pandemic will go down the annals of history as one of the most unpredictable, a period full of insecurity and the one with a constant fear of losing the loved ones. While everyone suffered their bit and tried to cope with the uncertain times, it was the children who bore the brunt in the most silent way and are still a major concern of worry for every family, society & nation at large.
Most often, we brush aside the fears that these children experience as insignificant, without realizing the repercussions the fears might have on the emotional and psychological well- being of an individual. For instance, being emotionally insecure, especially for a child, is a matter of grave concern.
During the pandemic, when the parents were fighting their own battles to ensure the well-being, safety and security of their family members, not to forget the financial instabilities, the children were the mute spectators, drawing their own conclusions and forming their own opinions. They became especially vulnerable as they were disconnected with their peer group and could not give vent to their fears and insecurities.
This lack of interaction with the peer group had a grave impact on their psychological growth. As educators, we witnessed extreme cases. where, children have become completely withdrawn, introverts, and rebellious.
In other cases, they displayed symptoms which defied their age and mental abilities. In a nut shell, their psychological well-being is at stake. In other words, the children are losing out on the 'spring' of their life and are already advancing towards the 'winter' of emotions - cold and indifferent.
The impenetrable fortress must be broken into immediately. The key is to establish the 'Connect' with the children; to help them confide, share and give a voice to their concerns. It is at this juncture that schools, offline or online have to play a crucial role.
The organization of various events, competitions, physical games and activities involving every child ensures a platform to them to express their selves, and to shake off the insecurities that had seeped in their minds and threatened their existence, not just psychological well-being.
Teachers have to juggle the hats of being a buddy/a parent/a grandparent of the child who shares inspiring and encouraging stories as well as anecdotes with the children; one who is able to identify the temperament of the child and is able to induce happiness which is contagious.; who engages child constructively to channelize the energy in a positive direction.
It is very important to make children understand that the unprecedented times that they had been through, were only a testimony to the fact that they were winners in all the domains of life. Success is not always about winning prizes, it is also about the ability to face the challenges that life throws at you, to be able to ride the high tides, to be able to express oneself. It has to be made apparent to the children that for the world they may be someone, but for us, they are the world!
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