Children are sensitive. Some of them are sensitive enough to live their lives pivoted on their emotional insecurities. With the rise of pandemics over the last few years, there has been a noticeable spurt in the online classes. This may cause a strain on a child’s fragile psyche and may even make him reclusive.
Parents are possibly not at fault because they want their kids to take advantage in the safest way possible and we’d welcome that too, but spare a thought for those poor souls who are bearing the inflated burden of this nuisance and expectations.
HW Beecher was one of the most prolific social reformers and preachers of the United States. This 19th preacher and clergyman had championed the cause for women's suffrage and children's education.
In one of his speeches, he had expressed the view that while education is indispensable, it still should not be licensed to take away a child’s innocence. He fiercely opined that ‘children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.’
Fast forward to 2020 and you would find our unassuming children fighting against the odds, even while educating ourselves. The latest in the series of “necessary evils” is online education.
There have been four deadly pandemics alone in the first twenty years of the 21st century so far. They are H1N1, MERS/SARS, Ebola, and COVID-19, and they all have accounted for countless lives across the world in the cumulative. Parents are on the defensive to secure a future for their children and are clueless beyond the current model of online education.
This horrific rise in some of the deadliest viruses ever known has plummeted the faith that humans have in their medical sciences. This has led to several direct and indirect consequences in mental health like anxiety, depression, insomnia, substance abuse, and even hallucinations.
The worse befalls as an adult is diagnosed with any of these diseases and is put in self-isolation, being administered procedural medications that look apprehensible to an unassuming mind. Children are the worst affected in this fiasco because they usually can’t make any head or tail out of it.
The stress due to online classes is not something new. Kids are struggling to find their way out in a jigsaw puzzle of one-way communication where only the teacher talks and explains a few key concepts before signing out for the day.
Contact classroom models were no Mr. Perfect either but at least they allowed the kids to express themselves through a myriad of ways. Arts and Crafts, Physical Training, Games, and Library are just some of the names we can think of right now.
Some reasons explain as to why an online school is so stressful:
1. A new model of education
2. New teachers
3. Takes time and patience to grasp the lessons
4. Lack of standardization
5. Lack of ownership
7. Very less interaction with teachers and fellow students
8. Feeling lonely, away from friends
9. One-dimensional study modules (no extracurricular activity)
10. The need to rely on a virtual media
11. More study hours
The online model of education makes writing the examinations even more difficult because all these factors then add up. An average or below-average student who isn’t particularly strong at the academics goes into reclusion and even the thought of such exams makes him afraid.
Parents should teach their children how to deal with exam anxiety by spending time with him, and if possible, even teaching them in person. This would help the kids gain new confidence knowing that their parents are rallying around them. Emotional support could be such a match-winner!
It is important to understand that a few online classes and a few online examinations cannot determine how smart your kid is. Maybe she has some special interests in the Arts while you are asking him to gulp down lessons in Social Science, or maybe he wants to become the next Maradona when you are hopelessly running after him to solve the Pythagoras Theorem.
An Online Wellness Expert is someone you could count on to make a difference. As an acclaimed Mental Therapist or a Personal Nutritionist, he or she would help you offer two vastly different but equally useful ways of helping your kid cope with the extraneous stress.
Your kid would emerge stronger and confident with every such virtual session, and he would be happier because he would conclusively know that you have his back for this one time too.
They are our children and they want us to walk that extra mile with them. They always want to know if it would be worth it in the end and only we can reassure them of that. Remember, they are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.