One of the overlooked issues with the recent Covid-19 crisis is the long term detrimental effects it may have on children. While it is easy to see that education for our children has been impacted, have you considered the taboo we have placed on touching each other?
Everyone wears a mask. You must keep six feet distance from others. No one touches another. While the adults among us know that this is a temporary measure, for smaller children we are shaping future behavior.
Humans have a desire to touch – to be close. Studies of infants who do not receive adequate tactile contact (hugging, being held, responding to crying,) become emotionally withdrawn, and can suffer serious psychological damage. Prolonged exposure to this kind of behavior can impact older children as well. As the Covid crisis stretches on, the impact is stretching into the future behavior of children worldwide.
Typically, children play in groups, chase each other, wrestle, and have fun. Being forced to stay apart, is creating a new sense of aloneness for many. Introverted personalities are being pushed into further isolation while extroverted personalities are experiencing and increased sense of frustration.
As a parent, you have many responsibilities in raising a child. Covid has greatly raised the bar by adding to the steps you need to protect your child from harm.
Increasing the tactile contact you have with your child at this point, emphasizing that other children are ok, but you can’t play with them just for now. Perhaps finding a “co-family” with children yours can play with, are all steps you can take to ease the hidden damage this enforced isolation is having on them.
Families are getting more together time than ever. Make the most of it. Give your child an extra hug today. You might find you need it too.