COVID-19 and its impact: Why you should engage your children on their anxieties
Clinical psychologist Viwe Dweba says it is important to engage your children on the changes and impact caused by COVID-19.
Some children will remain at home as grades 7 and 12 return to school from 1 June.
With all the changes happening because of the outbreak and the lockdown, Dweba says children may experience anxiety.
We are in an unprecedented situation. As adults we are afraid, how much more with our children who aren't perhaps getting as much information as we are getting. It is perfectly normal for kids to be anxious, to feel quite down and sad because they haven't been able to play outside or see their friends.Viwe Dweba, Clinical psychologist
There is something so important about physical touch in our relationships and not being able to hug your friends, your teacher, a relative, cousins can leave you feeling quite lonely. Those feelings are normal.Viwe Dweba, Clinical psychologist
She says as children return to school in the face of the outbreak, there will also be anxiety.
Where kids know about some sort of virus, they may feel a bit afraid about that, then there will also be quite a bit of anxiety around school work, especially for our older kids. Real anxiety around having missed a lot of school work.Viwe Dweba, Clinical psychologist
Dweba says there are behaviours you can look out for during this time and suggests you talk to your children if and when you do notice any changes.
We are looking our for changes in their eating patterns - where you notice that your child usualy has an appetite and they don't have an appetite, when your child isn't someone who goes to the fridge too regularly but now starts going to the fridge a lot more frequently than usual in a noticeable way, so their relationship with food changes.Viwe Dweba, Clinical psychologist
If you notice that they are more irritable, younger children who are really anxious may start bed-wetting after they have been potty trained. We are looking out for negative thoughts that come out in the things our kids say ... those major changes in behaviour.Viwe Dweba, Clinical psychologist
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