Shona, who has two children, talks about the emotional impact on children
It's been difficult, we are coping well but it's difficult. I think it's okay to say this. There's too much emphasis on "tips" but I think we need to talk about the emotional impact on our kids.
I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old. There is a huge difference. The two-year-old can potter endlessly and is very happy to have us around. The four-year-old is very affected emotionally. He is at a stage where his whole life and routine have been completely changed, his social life taken away, he deeply misses his friends and family. He is unable to completely express his emotions and unable to communicate fully via video chat.
He is now misbehaving, and has erratic moods. He has stopped asking "what's happening today?" I'm watching him lose the joy, the confidence he had in his life. The looking forward to starting school in the autumn. I'm very worried about the suggestion that education for under-tens would be the last to open because they cannot socially distance. How do we protect the mental well-being of a four-year-old? I'm really worried.
Any amount of mindfulness is not going to work for this age group. I have no answers, it just seems like it's not yet being talked about. Several months - up to eight months? - is an eternity for a four-year-old. We are a supportive, loving stable family, not particularly stressed in terms of our circumstances. But I'm worried this experience will be fundamentally damaging as I can already see the effect. How can I compensate for the loss of my four-year-old's social interaction? At the moment I can't see any answers.