In a previous post, we discussed how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) could also have a negative impact on development and cause GDD. We talked about how important intervention might be even when children are born healthy, but are currently living in difficult environments.
Considering the current COVID-19 situation, however, no one could blame you if you thought that this is every family’s situation right now. Still, it is important to not panic and avoid hasty conclusions. A pandemic is still a highly unique situation that cannot be easily compared to other ACEs (such as abuse or mental illness).
And to emphasise this point, let us consider the subject of the New Normal. This is a broad term used by many to describe what the world might be like in light of the pandemic (and what might come after). For some, it might mean a new way of doing business. For others, it represents a new way of structuring society.
What does this mean for families and the development of young children? Here are three of the most immediate areas in family life that you can look to if you want to ensure that the New Normal still results in a healthy (or at least, less adverse) childhood experience.
1. Work and Finances
There is no doubting the negative economic effects of the pandemic. People have been either forced to switch to a work-from-home setup, or lose their job completely.
If either case is your situation, then work should certainly be a top priority because financial difficulties are a well-known cause for negative childhood experiences. Of course, the key here is to also make sure that your search for stability (or the new work-from-home setup) also doesn’t create too much stress in the household. It is not just about money, but also how the family manages everyone’s feelings about the situation.
2. Education and Routine
In a way, childhood development requires children to engage in multiple disciplines, from sports to mathematics. And even with many schools in Australia cautiously reopening, parents must remain vigilant and ensure there is still ample access to education at home as well as ample means to exercise and develop important motor skills.
The trend is certainly shaping the face of children’s education all around the world. Programs and online courses are being developed with the New Normal in mind. There are also those taking currently existing programs that address developmental delay and turning them into home-based variations. Families can certainly benefit a lot from making the most of these resources to ensure a healthy, educational routine even during quarantine.
3. Social Experiences
One of the biggest dilemmas brought about by COVID-19 measures is between the importance of social interaction and the need for social distancing. The former is key for the further development of emotional, communication and social skills for children, but the latter is crucial for public health and flattening the curve.
Families do have one advantage in this situation, however, as they can use this opportunity to really help each other out through bonding experiences during quarantine. Likewise, there is also nothing wrong with allowing kids some moderate time to use technology for communicating with friends. Social distancing should not be an occasion for a less development friendly environment!
In short, there is definitely going to be a lot of adjusting among families as we try to make our way to the New Normal. But despite that, we still have a good, fighting chance to help our kids develop healthily and normally all throughout!
If you need any advice or support, then know that we at the Australian Tomatis Method are still here to help you. Please reach out if you need to, either by email at email@example.com or by phone to Francoise at 0414 444 915.