Kids Mental Health in 2022
We’ve spoken previously about how our student’s mental health can be affected during January. We have now finally moved into February we would like to think that spirits have been lifted as we move into Spring. However, our children and students are now part of what is known as the ‘Covid Generation’. I think it’s fair to question how the absence from school over the past few years has affected students mentally. Is it fair to say that because students missed out on so much of physical school life, will this have a long-term effect on them? Home and online schooling worked in the favour of some but will increased internet, screen time and time on social media cause problems in the future?
Mental Health & The Internet
It’s no secret that the internet, if not regulated correctly can lead to the poor mental health of our children. The increasing speed of the digital revolution has ensured that the chances of a human of any age going a day without the internet is highly unlikely. If not monitored correctly, the internet can lead children to have low self-esteem, poor sleep quality, impulsivity, and attention disorders that can directly impact their learning and development. So, how do we ensure we prevent this for our children and students?
The best way to keep on top of this is to just monitor the length of time spent online. If students need to spend time on the internet to complete homework, then perhaps it’s a good idea to make sure they’re not spending anytime online once homework is completed.
Mental Health and Social Media
Social media is now one of the main factors affecting children’s mental health. Unfortunately, too much time on social media can lead to bullying, depression, and anxiety. The overuse of social media can cause a child’s brain to become hyperactive, inattentive, and can leave them questioning their self-worth. While social media can sometimes increase feelings of connection and inclusion, it can also cause feelings of extreme loneliness and comparison to others.
One of the most obvious answers on how to overcome this issue would be the ensure that children don’t gain access to social media until they are old enough to be on the platforms. Children of all ages have social media profiles now, access to this world at a young age will only offset the addictive tendencies we see in children and teenagers. This, however, isn’t always possible, so installing a media monitoring app on your child’s device will ensure that you can easily see the time spent on each app.
Mental Health and Screen Time
So many of our jobs are now spent looking at screens all day. Screen time has a huge effect on our mental health. Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you are an adult. If excessive screen time affects us, we can only imagine what effect it has on the minds of kids who are less developed. The use of screens can impact children and young people's sleep, something that is important to both physical and mental health and wellbeing. Looking at screens for too long makes us tired, drained, and lazy. Sedentary behaviour may be associated with poorer physical health.
If your child already spends a lot of time on screens it’s unlikely that you will be able to cut down screentime from eight hours to two hours overnight. Try easing down the time first by cutting it in half. Let your child know how many hours of screen time they are allowed each day and keep track of it.
Children's Mental Health Week
Children's mental health charity Place2Be has set up Children's Mental Health Week 2022. Its aim is to highlight the importance of mental health within children and young people. You can read more on the week of events here.
Zeeko Internet Safety Seminars
As there is so much information surrounding the internet and how to be safe online, we understand that sometimes it can be overwhelming. Zeeko Education provides Internet Safety training both virtually and on-site to suit every school’s needs. Some of our packages also include parent seminars to ensure you are up to date with the most relevant information for your child, their class, and their age group. Read more on our seminars here or forward this link to your child's teacher.