Following Dr Alex’s warning on this morning’s Lorraine about children needing support for their mental health, the Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School steps in to comment:
UNICEF commented that children risk being amongst the biggest victims of the pandemic. They have had sparse days with their fellow classmates, bare minimal social time and next to no ability to learn and grow in the wider world for over a year.
Children have been plagued with images of destruction, downfall and death, far more than any other generation. It is likely we will not see the true outcome of their suffering for many years to come.
The rate of children who have mental health disorders has gone up drastically since 2017 but although this all paints a grim picture, there are ways that parents can boost their child’s mental health and give them the support and help they so sorely need.
Here are three steps parents can take today to factor in the loss of social time, soothe their child’s anxiety and boost their morale:
1. A Little Extra
With the new announcement that Boris Johnson made this week, schools will re-open on March 8th, but that is still some time away. Children have missed out on a huge chunk on their learning, even though they were being home-schooled, they couldn’t possibly get the in-classroom experience. Take a look at additional classes, either online or in-person in the future that your child could take part in. Fun extra-curricular performing arts classes are a fantastic way to reintroduce confidence in social skills. Have a look at the online classes we have for children in March, here.
2. Get Them Set Up
We are creatures of habit, there’s safety in routine – which is one of the many reasons we’ve all struggled so much during this pandemic. It’s not your fault bedtimes and wake ups have slipped. A few weeks before March 8th, get back into your school routine – get your children in bed and awake at the same time they would have to for school. Although, no doubt you’ll be up against some resistance, it’ll make a world of difference when March 8th comes around.
3. Talk Less, Listen More
Have open discussions with your children about what they’ve missed. What has made them feel scared over this time, what have they enjoyed? In this online course, children are guided on creating their own show based on their story. This is something you could introduce at home. Communication is key with mental health, make set times (dinner times are good) to have frank conversations about feelings – both good and bad.
Overall, we’re all coming out of this the same – tired, a few lbs heavier and with no real concept of time! Let’s find the silver linings, what about these lockdowns would you continue with your children? Perhaps weekend bike rides or seeking out nature in the park. Whatever it is, we at Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School are on-hand to help you and your child navigate back to a new normal with a smile on your face.