Imagine when you were a child if one day you came home from school to hear that for the foreseeable future school was closed. Training was cancelled. Music lessons were cancelled. Parties and sleepovers were cancelled. That’s what’s happened to our children. They’ve lost a lot in this crisis and as the adults in their lives, we need to help them to process that.
Dr. Colman Noctor is a Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist at St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, he’s also a dad so he has a certain personal perspective to bring to this too. Children are feeling loss and grief at the moment, maybe not all the time, but it’s there.
They’re missing their friends, wondering whether their football final will ever be played, etc. These things may not compare to the loss of a job or, tragically, a life, but they are a big deal in the life of a child.
Colman discusses the importance of seeing things through a child’s eyes, what are their priorities and how their lives are being impacted by this crisis. He also underlines the opportunity adults have to model for children, how to acknowledge feelings of sadness and fear, while also understanding that they pass.
School will return, football matches will be rescheduled and we’ll get to celebrate with our friends once again.