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Podcasts | May 2020

Children: Wounded emotionally and socially by COVID-19

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“After a few days of lockdown I started to feel less excited but more anxious and worried about it. I’m usually quite in control of my life but having no routine and no way of making my own decisions – I’m finding it quite challenging. Not doing my usual day-to-day activities, not socialising with anyone, and feeling quite alone I suppose.” Young Person

We are hearing daily that the crisis lines for children are overloaded, and that children are struggling from the detrimental impact of being in lockdown, leaving them overloaded with their own thoughts and feelings, and lacking the support of social contact and extended family. In the worst cases, there are those trapped in households with domestic violence, or abuse. The children who do reach out for help are the tip of an iceberg of the unseen and unheard suffering, in a world with a pandemic that can create a sense of danger everywhere.

Our concerns are for teachers, as much as the children. When children return to the classroom, teachers are going to have an increasing number of these distressed youngsters, all of whom will need help to re-build relationships and trust with themselves and their peers. Listening to my grandchildren, those aged 7-13, I have been sad to hear how their confidence has been rocked and I worry for those who cannot vocalise these fears. Many children have lost their social confidence, their confidence in all their abilities, their place in peer groups and learning groups, with many seeming to fear how they might have failed to study during this period and feel they have fallen far behind.

Parents report grumpy children who are not sleeping well and have lost their ability to get up in the morning. Motivation is hard to stir and creativity has been hard to sustain. Children need school and the outside world to thrive and the lack of this means even the usually most confident children will struggle to readjust when lockdown is over. Let us hope that teachers and schools get the support they need to face the task ahead. We are thankful to all the teachers and staff for doing their utmost to support the vulnerabilities that are emerging in children whilst fielding their own balancing acts and working with such unknown frameworks and futures plans. We thank you and applaud you!

Written and recorded by Tish Feilden (Lead Therapist and Co-founder) and Chloe Thomas (Impact Manager and ex-teacher) with the voices of Jamie’s Farm Ambassadors.