Sara Zarriello

A child’s mind is in a constant phase of development. It absorbs everything that is seen, heard, smelt, tasted and touched. The past few months of lockdown have limited the breadth of things for children to absorb. Parents aren’t the only ones pining for their kids to go back to school. This week marks the beginning of the end of home life and the start of broader learning for kids. 

As of the 25th of October, children of all ages are welcome back to school. The NSW Government’s roadmap to return to face-to-face learning has worked in three stages. The government has brought forward phase three, the return to school date by a week. For many students, the news is cautiously welcomed. The safety of our children has been at the height of concern when discussing returning to face-to-face learning. Yet, the mental well-being of our students has not been amplified.  

The Child Mind Institute states that almost one in five children “struggle with mental health or learning challenges”. Child Psychology is complex but the mindset of a child is majorly impacted by three aspects; cultural, social and socioeconomic contexts. This is seen in the values, shared traditions and ways of living children are raised or influenced by. As well as the relationships they are exposed to and develop and the social class they are raised in. All of these factors play a major role in how children behave. Not being exposed to the full spectrum of their influencers over the past few months has put children at a slight disadvantage. 

For children with learning difficulties such as ADHD, Autism and a range of other valid issues, it is especially hard to transfer their learning from behind the screen to face-to-face. North Shore Play Therapy advise working on trust and the gentle coaxing of children to speak or play out their emotions. It is important as we transition out of at-home learning, that we continue to be in constant communication with our children.

If you would like more information about Play Therapy check out the North Shore Play Therapy website here.