The COVID-19 global crisis forced the world to be in a complete lockdown, including schools’ closures and work to stop the spread of the disease. Parents staying at home with their children may negatively and positively impact the child’s psychological well-being.
Many countries reported a fall in child attachment, while other countries showed that the lockdown increased child attachment. This article highlights six different countries with child’s attachment during the lockdown.
According to BBC News, India’s situation is becoming worse day by day, and the children are suffering terribly. With the pandemic mounting and the lockdown extending, half of India’s population has lost their jobs and cannot feed their families. The parents have developed fear, anxiety and depression while affects the child’s mental health. Indian children were reported to experience higher levels of anxiety and fear during the lockdown.
Consequently, there has also been deterioration in child’s attachment as the children were being neglected by families and society, leading to severe setbacks for the child’s affection. According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), more than 1,700 children lost both their parents, while their parents abandoned 140 children, and more than 7,400 has lost one of their parents in this pandemic. The COVID-19 devasted children in India more than ever. Physical, sexual and emotional abuse with domestic violence and economic crisis has contributed to toxic mental health for Indian children during the pandemic.
In Thailand, child abuse and victimization of children have increased while there has been a decrease in child’s attachment during the lockdown. According to UNICEF Thailand, more than 7 in 10 children stated that the pandemic had harmed their mental health, causing distress, fear and anxiety. The main reason for their distress would be their parents’ financial status and perceived inadequacy. UNICEF reports that parents with a high level of anxiety and depression during the lockdown influences the child psychological well-being and causing a decrease in child attachment.
3. SOUTH AFRICA
The UNICEF of South Africa states that as COVID-19 takes a poll, the well-being of the children becomes at risk. The malnutrition of children was always a problem in South Africa, which only became worse with the pandemic. During the lockdown, half of the African families went to sleep hungry, including their children. Over 400,000 children are starving for proper food. Child abuse and violence increased as parents treated their child with frustration and irritation, not knowing the consequences it would leave on the child. Most African children have had disturbed mental health because they do not have proper internet facilities for online learning due to their financial state and ill-treatment from their caregivers. Hence, it shows that there has been a significant fall in child’s attachment due to the pandemic and the lockdown.
The situation in Italy is alarming as it lies 4th in the world’s number of deaths for COVID-19. All families and children were deprived of their education, work, sports activities, and even social relationships. Children attachments were their parents and their teachers and friends, which suddenly ended, and their only attachment figure was their parents. This has had taken an adverse effect on the child’s attachment support. Many parents had difficulty taking good care of their child as they were either dealing with a loss of a closed ones or sick and work tensions. Children from these households showed signs of mental illness, such as high anxiety, emotional and behavioural problems. Report analysis from Italy states a massive fall in child’s attachment during COVID-19 lockdown as parenting stress, and health problems would impact the children’s physical and mental condition.
However, not all countries experienced a fall in child’s attachment, but countries as Poland positively affected their children’s attachment during the lockdown. According to reports evaluation, families in Poland took the lockdown in an incredibly constructive way to rebuild their relationship with their kids. In the middle of work and household chores, parents tend to neglect their relationship with their child, but with lockdown, they can communicate and interact with their children. During such a crisis, Poland parents stated that it is essential that the parent feel and understand the child’s concern and reflect encouraging experiences to their kids during the lockdown. They also mentioned that patience, empathy and emotion regulation abilities impacted positively on the child’s well-being. Furthermore, per the report, Poland parents could control their own emotions effectively and proved to be better support for their children, whenever they needed it—subsequently engaging them in various activities and more family time, leading to an increase in their child’s attachment.
Lastly, Mauritius went into a first lockdown for two months with schools and work closures. Mauritian parents took this lockdown as an opportunity to be able to spend quality time with their families. They made sure that they are participating and making a follow up in their kids’ education. In this way, the kids’ emotional and mental health was being taken care of. Parents tried to engage themselves in fun and educational activities with their children to not get bored at home and interact with their studies effectively. Parents did not let their stress and anxiety control their families, but instead, their parenting skills enhanced their parent-child relationship, which expanded into the child’s attachment.
This article has emphasized how different countries deal with child attachment during the lockdown to summarise the above discussion. Therefore, it can be deduced that parents were affected, but this has had a depressive attachment for the children. While, other countries used the lockdown as an opportunity to spend time with their beloved ones and thrived their parenting skills, growing in child’s attachment.
Narmeen Nasari, Student of Middlesex University (Mauritius) and YUVA Intern