After two years of distance learning… What are its effects on the mental health of our children?

There is no doubt that students receiving their lessons online or what is known as “distance learning” affects their behavior and communication skills. So how about two years after learning from a distance?

The repercussions that specialists have warned of on the mental health of children as a result of home learning, and on the ability of parents who manage it in a balanced manner, not to mention the extent of the response of young people, especially in the elementary grades. How can this problem be solved?

First, children’s mental health

Psychologist Yara Basibes identified a set of psychological effects on children as a result of not attending school, the most prominent of which are:

_ Hours of prolonged use of screens At least 7 hours a day. This contradicts the recommendations of those concerned not to expose children to screens before 3 years, while they are allowed only twenty minutes between 3 and 6 years. From the sixth to the eighth year, the time period is thirty minutes. For teens, the recommended time is two hours maximum.

_ Decreased social interaction and decreased Stimulus intellectual. These results were noted by the psychotherapist in her clinic. The reasons for this are due to the use of electronic screens for long periods, which affects the نموّ Brain, Andtheir intelligence emotional, Andtheir social relationships، Andabsorb them for concepts, their focus, their attention, and their mood و .كلهم.

And based on a study that included children in France, entitled “CONFEADO 2021”, on the experience of home quarantine related to the Corona epidemic, it showed that the effect of this stone on the psychological health of children varies according to their age and gender. It showed that adolescents and girls between the ages of 13 and 18 years are more affected on a psychological level compared to boys between the ages of 9 and 12 years.

Second – Guidelines for parents and teachers to deal with these problems

Confirmed Bsibs that the current problem is not easy amid the crises that Lebanon is going through, As remote study requires certain rules at home, which children must abide by. These rules are based on more questions, cooperation and independence. Also, it is based on avoiding repetition, pressure, penalties and orders. Among the most prominent ideas presented by psychotherapy:

1_ Establishing strict rules for using the screen, and limiting the daily screen time for studying and playing, suggesting not to use the screen on the bed and in the bathroom. Also, she advised activating civil control over screen use by downloading applications such as “Qustodio control parental”.

Target: _ situation Clear boundaries to ensure safety, and to give the child a clear and reassuring framework.

_ Protecting children and adolescents from pornographic films and motivating them to discuss with parents if they have questions.

2_ organize kids daily schedule To do some activities such as painting or sports.

Target: Giving reference points to the child or adolescent in a timely manner NSCreate a safe environment like school.

3_ group daily schedule for parents To help each other with daily tasks.

Target: Find time to relax to avoid parental fatigue and encourage parent activity to accompany their children during the online lesson without anger.

4_ Stop using the screen before bed at least two hours; ّ The blue light emitted by screens suppresses melatonin production sleep hormone. Thus, enhanced alertness, even at low levels of exposure. The activities on screens keep our brain in a state of intellectual excitement that is not conducive to sleep.

Target: find Have a good sleep for brain development.

Third, solutions to mitigate these problems

In addition to these problems presented by psychotherapy, distance learning equally affects social relationships and the acquisition of skills. Hence, Bsaibes stressed the possibility of studying at home, provided that the learner is given an environment adapted to his needs to enhance self-confidence and support him towards independence and responsibility.

Some examples were presented to mitigate the impact of the remote lesson on social relations and skills acquisition for boys and adolescents, most notably:

1_ Create fun games, through which parents explain school subjects.

Objective: to create educational social interaction; The door of the child is the play that makes him social, gives him self-confidence, teaches him rules and limits, and develops his independence. Playing with the child for up to 5 minutes a day nourishes the child with the presence he needs.

2_ Turn off the parents’ phones at a certain time of the day, and give the child 100% time to play, talk, laugh and have fun.

Goal: Parents are role models for children; Spending time with the boy in nature, for example, strengthens family and social ties.

3_ The family meeting daily to discuss the difficulties that the child and adolescent face during the lesson from a distance.

Objective: To know the difficulties faced by the child and adolescent and to think of constructive solutions that simplify education and make it more interactive.

4_ Adapting sensory, intellectual and manual activities, according to the topic studied from a distance in the school. Accompanying the child to discover what he loves by encouraging him to read, draw, cook and music.

Objective: To develop cognitive abilities, and to help children express their feelings, tastes, desires and opinions.

5_ Resorting to psychologists or family therapists, if there is a difficulty in setting controls at home. Objective: To study the general situation in the family, and to understand the problem experienced by the child and parents in the family.


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