How has your children’s mental health been impacted by the pandemic?: "I’ve really noticed how much more dependant my children are on me and my husband during the pandemic. Normally my 17 year old spends a lot of time at college, work, theatre group and out with friends. She still speaks to her friends online but she is noticeably fed up a lot of the time and as parents we have taken on different roles. It’s not necessarily a negative thing as we have strengthened our bond but I know we are no replacement for her friends.
My 14 year old is autistic and the school closures were good for her. She thrived at home away from social pressures but now she is back her anxiety has increased again. Face masks make life difficult because she can’t read facial expressions. She gets anxious and upset when people don’t stick to rules like social distancing.
I think my 8 year old has had the least impact on his mental health. He misses his grandparents though. Regular FaceTime calls help to a degree but it’s not the same. He loves cuddles so we spend a lot of time cuddled up and talking about what is happening in the world.
We work really hard to create a safe space for our children to talk about how they are feeling. It’s not been easy but by talking openly we seem to be managing.
I think we will see more problems here as restrictions change. I worry about how my 14 year old will cope when social distancing isn’t needed and I worry about how they’ll all manage when life is at full speed again."