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Has the pandemic impacted your children’s emotional wellbeing? Registered education psychologist Sophia Chak shares insights on how you can help your children cope with the changes in the way they learn.

As a result of the fluctuating pandemic, many schools have had to switch back and forth between in-class and online lessons. This not only makes it hard for students to adjust, but could be taking a toll on their emotional stability. Sophia Chak is an accredited education psychologist and counsellor. She shares her insights into children’s emotional management gleaned from many years of experience in counselling.

3 keys to managing setbacks in children’s emotional development brought on by online learning

Caring is key

Since online lessons offer limited scope for social interaction, children have had fewer opportunities for learning social skills, and problems in handling interpersonal problems could arise. While working from home, parents should take the opportunity to give their kids proper guidance and prevent the emergence of negative emotions. On the other hand, some parents’ prolonged stays at home have enabled their children to acquire more than just academic knowledge, which is beneficial to their overall development.

Communicate the traditional way

Children who lack opportunities for face-to-face interaction with their peers can switch to more traditional channels of communication, like making phone calls, writing letters, sending greeting cards. Based on our observations, kids who are shy tend to be more at ease and responsive when communicating with others through a computer’s camera. So online learning in this new normal is actually good for them.

Pay attention to any special learning needs

Some children, such as those who have dyslexia, have special learning needs. Online lessons could make it difficult for teachers to detect symptoms. And parents who don’t know better might simply think their children are falling behind and end up pushing them harder. So stay alert to signs of potential difficulties, and seek help from schools and professionals if necessary.

Adjust your child’s biological clock.

Since online lessons can start quite suddenly, parents can help their children adjust by doing the following:

  • Make sure they get enough sleep and are ready for early morning lessons.
  • Set a timetable to help them develop the habit of keeping regular hours. Try moving their afternoon naps to after school hours to prepare them for sudden school re-openings.
  • Kids who are less socially adept might not be keen on returning to school. Parents should find out what would motivate them to do so, eg spending time with their favourite teachers and schoolmates, PE lessons, the tasty snacks at the school cafeteria, etc. This way, they will come to understand that learning online and at school are not the same, and that both are enjoyable in different ways.

Relieve stress together with your child

Even though pressure can be a source of motivation, kids might not know how to handle it properly, and their emotional wellbeing might be affected.

Parents should

  • Be good listeners, allow their kids to vent their pent-up emotions, then work with them to find ways to de-stress.
  • If parents have reached an emotional bottleneck themselves, it’s okay to let it all out and cry together with their kids, so the kids will understand that adults have emotions too. Try leaving the room or drinking a glass of water to calm down. That way, you’d be teaching your kid by example to look for ways to keep their emotions in check.
  • If the problems deteriorate and start to affect a child’s daily life, causing them to exhibit behaviours that are harmful to themselves or others, it’s time to seek professional help.

 

Sophia Chak
Registered education psychologist & Australian Counselling Association registered counsellor

Sophia is an accredited psychologist and counsellor who has acquired a wealth of insights into children’s education and development. She uses the experience she has accumulated to formulate intervention strategies for helping children reach their goals.

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Children’s emotional development during the pandemic

Has the pandemic impacted your children’s emotional wellbeing? Registered education psychologist Sophia Chak shares insights on how you can help your children cope with the changes in the way they learn.

As a result of the fluctuating pandemic, many schools have had to switch back and forth between in-class and online lessons. This not only makes it hard for students to adjust, but could be taking a toll on their emotional stability. Sophia Chak is an accredited education psychologist and counsellor. She shares her insights into children’s emotional management gleaned from many years of experience in counselling.

3 keys to managing setbacks in children’s emotional development brought on by online learning

Caring is key

Since online lessons offer limited scope for social interaction, children have had fewer opportunities for learning social skills, and problems in handling interpersonal problems could arise. While working from home, parents should take the opportunity to give their kids proper guidance and prevent the emergence of negative emotions. On the other hand, some parents’ prolonged stays at home have enabled their children to acquire more than just academic knowledge, which is beneficial to their overall development.

Communicate the traditional way

Children who lack opportunities for face-to-face interaction with their peers can switch to more traditional channels of communication, like making phone calls, writing letters, sending greeting cards. Based on our observations, kids who are shy tend to be more at ease and responsive when communicating with others through a computer’s camera. So online learning in this new normal is actually good for them.

Pay attention to any special learning needs

Some children, such as those who have dyslexia, have special learning needs. Online lessons could make it difficult for teachers to detect symptoms. And parents who don’t know better might simply think their children are falling behind and end up pushing them harder. So stay alert to signs of potential difficulties, and seek help from schools and professionals if necessary.

Adjust your child’s biological clock.

Since online lessons can start quite suddenly, parents can help their children adjust by doing the following:

  • Make sure they get enough sleep and are ready for early morning lessons.
  • Set a timetable to help them develop the habit of keeping regular hours. Try moving their afternoon naps to after school hours to prepare them for sudden school re-openings.
  • Kids who are less socially adept might not be keen on returning to school. Parents should find out what would motivate them to do so, eg spending time with their favourite teachers and schoolmates, PE lessons, the tasty snacks at the school cafeteria, etc. This way, they will come to understand that learning online and at school are not the same, and that both are enjoyable in different ways.

Relieve stress together with your child

Even though pressure can be a source of motivation, kids might not know how to handle it properly, and their emotional wellbeing might be affected.

Parents should

  • Be good listeners, allow their kids to vent their pent-up emotions, then work with them to find ways to de-stress.
  • If parents have reached an emotional bottleneck themselves, it’s okay to let it all out and cry together with their kids, so the kids will understand that adults have emotions too. Try leaving the room or drinking a glass of water to calm down. That way, you’d be teaching your kid by example to look for ways to keep their emotions in check.
  • If the problems deteriorate and start to affect a child’s daily life, causing them to exhibit behaviours that are harmful to themselves or others, it’s time to seek professional help.

 

Sophia Chak
Registered education psychologist & Australian Counselling Association registered counsellor

Sophia is an accredited psychologist and counsellor who has acquired a wealth of insights into children’s education and development. She uses the experience she has accumulated to formulate intervention strategies for helping children reach their goals.

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