Gabrielle is a sophomore and in her second year in journalism. She loves the color blue and her many cats. Her hobbies include writing and designing.
What Are Kids Noticing?
May 7, 2021
You might think that young kids haven’t been mentally affected by the pandemic, but you’d be wrong.
Throughout the pandemic, people have been talking about its negative effect on teens–how they’ve missed out on prom, graduation, and so much more. However, Covid has had a similar negative impact on younger kids as well.
Elementary-age kids have been enduring canceled playdates, at-home learning, and the navigation of many rules to protect themselves. As with many adults, children have faced emotional challenges while being isolated. According to NBC News, emergency rooms have had a 24% increase in mental health related visits from kids ages 5-11.
Many children in American suffer from unpleasant home lives. This may mean they suffer from abuse or live with parents with addictions and other issues. An unpleasant home can cause a decrease in mental health resulting in depression and anxiety, even in young kids. In that kind of environment, it is also more likely for those problems to be ignored or unnoticed.
A number of children during the pandemic have fallen behind on their schoolwork. Some guardians are not forcing their children to do work, particularly at home, so the kids haven’t been able to learn much. Other reasons for kids falling behind is because they may not have access to the internet at their home, the lessons aren’t clear to them, or the content has been watered down. With all the possible reasons a child may fall behind in school, it’s not surprising that the vast majority of kids are suffering academically this year.
Younger kids are no exception to the impact of changing relationships. Whether it is with family members or friends, kids are losing and gaining relationships. Some children that are starting to have in-person classes may be finding new friends, while kids still doing virtual learning may be having a harder time doing so, or even retaining old friends. While many kids have become closer to their families, others may have just been neglected.
So when will things get back to normal? With plans for school to return to five days a week of in-person instruction in the fall in many school districts, some hope may be on the way. What the long-term effects of this pandemic will ultimately be on the youngest generation, only time will tell.