During the period of closure due to the epidemic, most children who have not been able to go to school physically for almost a year and a half and are away from their friends and social activities are quite willing to go to school, but there are also adaptation problems. .
Mental health expert, psychotherapist Öztül Özerdem noted that anxiety and fear are at the root of adaptation problems; “Uncertainty is something that always scares us, what we design in our minds scares us, we don’t know where to go, our reactions change into anxiety,” he said.
In response to a question from the Turkish agency Cyprus (TAK), Ozerdem said that among children who start face-to-face education; “The fear and anxiety of getting sick comes from being away from home, from being separated from parents, staying in school for long periods of time, taking a lot of health precautions,” he said.
“Some children are more anxious … have difficulty paying attention and following lessons”
Ozardem said that after the break-up time off, he was very tired because the school was noisy, he had clients who said he had headaches and problems.
In addition to the problems of phones, tablets and the Internet, Ozardem explains the following experiences, noting that the need for a suitable environment for children and adults who can help emerge, online education brings some problems:
“Even if these demands are met, there is a problem in keeping children and youth in this system. For example, they had difficulty concentrating and following lessons. “Some children are addicted to Internet games and have even become addicted to them.”
Ozardem said that during the period when schools were open, children needed more support in both the lessons they were lagging behind academically and emotionally, and stressed that schools and families should support children in a systematic and cooperative manner.
Ozardem noted that children are aware of their concerns and can talk to their families, teachers and guidance counselors without hesitation so that they can overcome it more easily.
“Especially during this time, children may have difficulty concentrating on their lessons and may experience some discomfort, anxiety and fear. The anxiety and fear that they are feeling is normal, our brains create certain thoughts and feelings to protect us, they should be said in a way that suits their age and they understand, Ozardem said parents should observe. Children and create a supportive and protective environment that allows them to express their feelings in comfort.
“It’s important to talk about how children feel and how they feel.”
“It is important to talk about what children are thinking and how they are feeling. For this reason, the child should be allowed to ask questions, their questions should not be ignored, they should be considered. If there are fears, anxieties and concerns, they need to be allowed to talk about their feelings and express themselves with open-ended questions, “said Ozardem, referring to the importance of providing accurate information to protect children’s mental health and control.
Emphasizing the importance of good observation by families to identify anxiety in children, Ozardem says that abnormal behaviors of the child and eating disorders are important indicators; He said some children had headaches, did not want to go to school, did not want to wake up, could not finish their breakfast and experienced physical or mental symptoms.
Özerdem said that when families see behaviors that may indicate such concerns, they should first talk to the child and allow them to express their feelings, emphasizing that it is important to ask children, “What do you think about this?” What do you do? Feel? ” When they ask something.
“We can stand by them and make a significant contribution to the coordination process by supporting them.”
As long as the children adapt to the school lessons, their parents should support them in following the lessons and homework, Ozardem said. And success. “
Ozardem said it is important to gradually give children their responsibilities regarding school and lessons, and to be able to create the necessary guidelines in a healthy way to help them adapt to social activities and activities within the framework of the adopted system.
Ozardem stressed that it is the duty of both educators and families to motivate children in a way that will keep their interest alive and explained that the child needs time to adapt.
Ozardem added that if children are unable to cope with problems such as crying, withdrawal, reactive behavior, nausea, abdominal pain, headaches, sleep problems, eating disorders, confusion and withdrawal from social relationships, they should seek expert help.
Noting that protecting and developing children’s mental health is the duty of parents and all organizations and institutions related to children, Ozardem said that a healthy person is one who develops his / her own abilities and capabilities and for this it is very important to give children a positive outlook.
Ozerdem added that the positive attitude is not to ignore problems, but to have the ability to see existing problems and solve them in a positive way.
Speaking about children who do not want to fulfill their responsibilities and refuse to meet the requirements of face-to-face education, Ozardem gives the following information:
“Gradually, there is a process of getting used to everything. It takes some time to get used to the new situation. In the 1.5-year shutdown, adults and children were similarly affected. Now, during the adaptation period we may experience the same problem again. We need guidance on how to discipline them. We can do things that motivate them. We can show the way. With the help of teachers we can prepare efficient study programs. We can help them listen more effectively in school. We can teach in the classroom by addressing the features of audiovisual sensitive learning. When they go home, it is important that they set a time for their attention and do their homework at a time where they will not be distracted. How much attention a child takes at the desk can be calculated with the help of family teachers and the child can be inspired. Better not to spend time on computer and television in class, let them go back to normal life, take a break with their animals, garden and family members, get some fresh air, then return to their lessons after 10 minutes. That way, learning is more sustainable. “
“Families who don’t understand baby’s condition …”
If the child does not have a mental illness, “this is not a sick child, this is a sick family”, Ozardem said, adding that if the family is not aware and their attitude towards their child is not good, school is sometimes a family place and to support children as much as possible. Can.
Noting that such families do not perceive the child’s situation, they evaluate the child’s situation according to what they know, see and experience, Ozardem said, “We usually see what we do from our family. You have to break that chain. “At the very least, conscious people need to break that bad habit from their families.”
“We want our children to have a high level of self-esteem,” Ozardem said, adding that families need to take responsibility for their children’s success, be patient and spend quality time with their children. The important thing is that the image we give them here, they will perceive themselves that way. It is very important for the child to be confident and to know that he is with his family to overcome the problems.
Article: Özlem Güran / Photo: Hüseyin Sayıl