‘Covid-19 lockdown increased conflicts between parents, kids’

During the nationwide lockdown in India, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to increased interaction between adults and their teenage wards and has allowed parents more time to monitor them, the experts said on Sunday.

According to Debjani Banerjee Faculty- Sociology and Social & Cultural Anthropology( CBSE and IBDP), Shiv Nadar School, Gurugram, while the lockdown has been challenging for everyone, it hasn’t been particularly easy for teenagers.

“Before the pandemic struck the world, teenagers would spend most part of their day with friends in school or outdoors; however, the sudden lockdown and subsequent restrictions to movement brought their social life to a standstill,” Banerjee told IANS.

She stressed that teenage is a more vulnerable and sensitive period of life for children and is also challenging for parents as they try and navigate their changing relationship with children.

The pandemic has led to increased interaction between adults and their teenage wards and has allowed parents more time to monitor them.

“A lot of time this proximity results in more arguments, misunderstandings, conflicting opinions and emotional stress, particularly for the teenagers,” she explained.

However, there are also enough examples of parents making use of this extra time to build on their relationship with children through better communication and helping teenagers find creative outlets to vent their emotions, ultimately leading to decreased stress and tension.

Meanwhile, several global studies have found that parents and children are spending more time on various screens at home which is seriously affecting their health, resulting in eye pain, watery eyes, headaches and less quality sleep time.

A recent study, published in the journal Obesity, also revealed that lockdowns implemented across the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic have negatively impacted diet, sleep and physical activity among children with obesity.

From office work to classes online, from streaming movies to playing online games, the social distancing norms have only resulted in a vast majority of Indians suffering from screen-induced stress and health problems, the health experts said.

According to Dr Samir Parikh, Director and Head of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences Department at Fortis Healthcare in New Delhi, at present kids are cooped up within the house, having to rely on the screen for not just their leisure and play, but for both academic classes as well as connecting with family and peers.

“Therefore, it’s important for parents to avoid restricting the children’s screen time but instead trying to instil a sense of normalcy within their routine. We can create opportunities to stimulate their mind, for instance by encouraging them to pick up some new hobbies, skills or activities,” he explained.

Dr Parikh added that involving in household activities in the form of a fun based activity, participating with children and family can be a good option.

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