Written by: Optima Santé globale
Due to the pandemic, many students were forced to make an abrupt transition to online learning. For CEGEP and university students, it’s the only option, but many primary and secondary school students are also having to cope with the shift to full- or part-time online learning. How are young people being impacted by this sudden change? And what can parents do to support the mental health of their children?
Though online learning is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools, it comes with its share of challenges. Luckily, there are some tips for navigating these uncharted waters.
Though virtual classes often follow a strict schedule, there is less structure than in a traditional classroom setting. As a result, students might feel a little bit lost. As they navigate this unfamiliar territory, they may also experience a loss of motivation that can cause anxiety and negatively impact their mood and their grades. In these moments, they need our attention and support more than ever.
Kids and teens have their eyes glued to their screens all day long. They watch educational videos, use apps to do assignments, search the web, view digital documents and take online tests. Even their meetings with teachers are done online, via video conference.
After school, many kids and teens unwind by spending time on social networks, watching TV or playing video games. The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that isolation and restrictions make it even more tempting to spend time in front of screens.
Kids and teens miss being around their friends. With online learning, communication is often limited to student-teacher interactions, so students miss out on chatting with their friends in class. According to the website Naître et grandir, students also miss the physical contact, like hugs, that they would normally get from their friends while playing or at recess. In addition, online learning deprives them of the opportunity to develop certain social skills (conflict resolution, for example).
Professional help is also available. For example, families with a Kaleido RESP have access to Accompanying Services offered by quality partners. Check it out today!
Sources: World Health Organization, Government of Canada and Naître et grandir (French only).