New research from the Center For Disease Control is confirming what many parents and caregivers feared; virtual instruction may pose some startling risks to the mental health and wellness of students.
The hot-button issue has been debated for months and as some students continue to learn remotely, experts like Dr. Tanya Pellettiere, suggest that patience and communication are important ways we can all help when it comes to addressing the problem.
The survey looked at kids ages five to 12 years old from October to November of 2020 along with more than 1,200 parents also surveyed. Findings indicated that 25 percent of parents whose children received virtual instruction reported worsened mental or emotional health in children compared to 16 percent who were learning in person.
Dr. Pellettiere adds that even though the damage has already been done, there are things that parents and students can do to help mitigate the problem today. Understanding the new normal and giving ourselves the grace to meet each challenge with patience and understanding is key. She also suggests that finding some sense of normalcy, be it registering for extra curricular activities or finding creative ways to socially engage students with their peers can all be very helpful.
Ultimately though, Dr. Pellettiere offers us all a good reminder. “It’s taken a year almost for us to get to this point, this realization that this is not healthy for our children. It likely will take some time to undo, a lot of the negative impact that has been put on children this last year,” she says. “So be patient. It may take a little time for that spark to come back and that zest for learning to return. “
Dr. Pellettiere is a child and family psychologist in Central New York. To learn more about how she can help you and your family, visit her on Facebook.