How to deal with effect of Covid on cognitive and behavioral growth of children

October 12, 2021 2:39 PM

As there is a drastic change in the environment of the child, where they are adjusting to all the changes, along with the constant exposure to the internet and social media.

covid 19 effects on childrenIt is important for the parents and caregivers to have an open conversation with their children regarding the difficulties being faced by them and help them come out of the same. (Photo source: IE)

By Prachi Kohli,

The period of pandemic has posed several challenges for mankind. The hardest hit were the children as their immediate environment is confined to their homes, which earlier was school, being with peers, and going out to play. Moreover, with the coming of pandemic, there is a drastic shift in the mode of education, which earlier was face to face and experiential, to being online.

As there is a drastic change in the environment of the child, where they are adjusting to all the changes, along with the constant exposure to the internet and social media. All these changes have impacted the holistic development of the child along, with an impact in their cognitive and behavioural dimension.

As these two dimensions are essential for the development of the child and cannot be ignored. Certain tips and techniques which the parents and other caregivers can follow at home for holistic development at home.

Tips for behavioural development:

Structuring their days: When there is an ambiguity in an individual’s day, it leads to agitation, anger, and fear of the unknown. It is essential for the parents to have a routine for the children so that fear of uncertainty and ambiguity reduces.

Positive Discipline: It is essential for the parents and the caregivers to discipline the child, as they need to learn social and behavioural etiquettes. The same can be done by positively disciplining the child, by using rewards which will motivate the child to perform those actions again, which are desirable in nature.

Time-Out: This strategy can be used to reduce the negative or unwanted behaviour of the child, by making him/her be in an environment which is undesirable. However, an ideal time-out shall be of 1 minute (per year of age).

Communication: It is important for the parents and caregivers to have an open conversation with their children regarding the difficulties being faced by them and help them come out of the same.

Tips for cognitive development:

Hands on experience activities: These activities will give the children an understanding about the concepts by practicing the same at home. This will help the child to understand the concept more concretely, which will boost their cognitive development.

Games: The play time will not just provide recreation to the child but will also provide them with cognitive stimulation. This will help the child to boost their cognitive skills such as attention; memory; problem solving, decision making, and many more. Hence board games, puzzles can be useful for children’s cognitive development.

Intellectual Discussions: As the children are exposed to huge content from the internet, it is essential that the parents, and the caregivers make the child engage into intellectual discussions, as it gives them appropriate information, and motivates the child to learn more.

Participating in quizzes: It is important that the child participates in quizzes related to the general awareness or educational quizzes, which will help the child to be more aware about their environment.

Reading: Be it books, newspapers, or magazines, it is essential that children are engaging into reading educational content to increase their horizons and develop new perspectives.

It is indeed essential for the parents and caregivers to provide a stimulating environment along with a safe and empathetic environment which will boost their development in these tough times as well.

(The author is Counselling Psychologist at Kaleidoscope- A unit of Dr. Bakshi’s Healthcare. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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