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How the pandemic impacts school children of various developmental stages

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  • Understanding how the pandemic impacts school children of various developmental stages

School is an important arena within which a child encounters, and in optimal situations, masters, important developmental challenges. A familiarity with the dynamic aspects of these challenges can help parents and children navigate at this time when traditional school routines are so upended. Each stage of development is associated with particular dynamic challenges for the child and the parent:

The Preschool Child

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Talking with children about Coronavirus

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On March 11, the World Health Organization classified the Coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic. It’s likely to remain prominent in the news for weeks or months to come, and many adults are seeking advice for talking with children about Coronavirus.
Even young children can be surprisingly aware of things going on in the adult world, though their limited understanding can lead to big misperceptions and unspoken fears that can affect their behavior and social-emotional well-being.

The Association ...

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The importance of talking with children about feelings

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The situation: Four-year-old Michael was misbehaving. The teacher, Mr. Carpenter, was speaking quietly to him, helping with feelings the young boy could not express verbally.

“Michael, if you are missing mommy and feeling sad, we can talk about her, think about her and make her a picture,” Mr. C said. “You can miss mommy and still feel like a big schoolboy who can manage and be safe.”

Nearby, Alex had been watching this interaction out of the corner of his eye while ...

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An alternative to punishment for misbehavior

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The Situation

Five-year-old Thomas sat in his chair at morning meeting. During the “Days of the Week” song, Thomas rocked in his chair to the music. He knew it was against the rules because it wasn’t safe; chairs tip over easily. But when no one seemed to notice or comment on it, he did it again. Still, nobody paid attention.

When morning meeting ended, the children were free to choose an activity. Thomas chose puzzles, his favorite. But when he couldn’t get ...

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