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Half of parents are concerned that lockdown is taking a toll on their children’s mental health, and may cause behavioural issues, a survey has revealed.

As I was putting my 8-year-old daughter to bed the other night, she told me that sometimes she has to tell her brain not to worry, and that everything will be OK. My usually positive and chipper offspring was struggling, and I realised just how challenging life is at the moment for even the younger people in our lives.

I’m not alone in worrying, around two-thirds of parents are concerned that lockdowns are affecting the mental health of their children. A further half of parents are worried about behavioural issues arising due to the stay at home orders.

The recent poll by The Guardian surveyed 1,100 people to find their thoughts, opinions and concerns around the current state of affairs around COVID-19.

With Melbourne hitting just over 200 days in lockdown, the second longest that any state in the world has endured, and New South Wales entering into its ninth week of lockdown, it’s understandable that parents are concerned that their kids aren’t coping. The Delta outbreaks have forced over 16 million people into lockdown.

Our kids are missing out on the freedoms that we now realise we took for granted. The normality of attending school with their peers, is now just a memory, and we’re not sure when we’ll be able to return to life as it once was. A large portion of parents (69%) reported that they were worried that their children are missing out on socialising with their friends, peers and teachers, while 61% say their children are falling behind in their learning.

HOW CAN WE HELP OUR KIDS IN LOCKDOWN?

Lockdown is a challenging time for everyone but there are ways which we can help our children get through it. The Kids Helpline recommend that kids can try socialising with their friends using technology, “young people can stream music together, exercise together on video calls, host a virtual games night or a virtual dinner catch-up or even a movie night.”

If technology isn’t something they’re keen on, they suggest that they could go old school and send their BFF a letter via snail mail instead.

Kids Helpline has created an online guide for helping kids who are finding life in lockdown challenging.

We can only hope that this ends sooner rather than later, and keep doing whatever it takes to keep our kids safe, and happy.

How are your kids coping in lockdown? Are you worried about their mental health?

  • Isolation of social interaction is very debilitating to children and adults.

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  • I already see my kids struggling with lack of social interaction

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  • Luckily my children are too young to really know what’s going on but they are incredibly upset that they don’t get to see their grandparents or go to kinder. It’s tough times but we should still all be incredibly grateful as there is much worse out there.

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  • I am concerned for my kids. We have lots of family things together – watching movies, board games, walking the dog, even cleaning the chicken coop together. I think this helps them to feel connected to others.


    • Togetherness and activities right now do indeed help at this time.

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  • Adults and children alike need to try and tell their brain to not worry at this time which can be tricky sometimes. We keep to schedules, of course with adjustments. Following a schedule and maintaining routines is comforting for adults and children.

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  • I think the younger children, who don’t quite understand what is going on, and the older ones, who really do understand, are fairing better than those in between – must to so tough on families with a few in that age bracket ….


    • Yep it’s so hard on those little brains! I have a newborn, so lockdown doesn’t bother him (although it definitely is harder on me as a mum), but my 3 year old is really struggling.

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  • This is really hard for every one. I am struggling with 3 home schooling kids. My kids hard to keep engage with school learning.

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  • Im glad my babies are too young to know what’s going on or that life is any different. Must be so hard for some families

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  • I have a 20 year old who has been really struggling. He is a DJ and works in hospitality so last year in Vic he was not entitled to anything whilst all his friends were receiving JobKeeper. We managed to get him through but this year has been harder. He’s had a taste of work, new jobs, etc. and every Vic lockdown just hits him hard. Lockdown 5 hit him with a bang and we were very concerned about him. He was not motivated to exercise, said he had no reason to get out of bed. We were very worried, but he got through it. Lockdown 6, believe it or not, he is coping a little better. It really is a rollercoaster and all we can do is support him and show him love.

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  • I live in a small country town in WA so we have been very lucky. We were only in lockdown for the mandatory 3 weeks when it first hit. Most of our community have received their vaccines too which also helps. I really feel for those who have youngsters who aren’t coping. Just stay safe everyone and keep fingers crossed that this is all going to resolve soon.

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  • In our family it has the biggest impact on my kids with special needs

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  • My 3 year old is finding it so hard and cries often. He has been having so many meltdowns which is really unlike him. It breaks my heart

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  • It’s so hard for us I can’t even imagine kids. We need to end restrictions for the sake of mental health

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  • My kids are coping okay because they’re old enough to understand a fair bit, but they’re not happy, to say the least.

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  • This is absolutely saddening, my little ones are still too young to understand.

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