Listen out for #Hashtag Hong Kong, on Sunday mornings. Our new programme updates the old format and content of Letter to Hong Kong.
The focus will be on issues affecting civil society, as we hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies and non-profit groups.
And each week there'll also be a musical choice*!
(Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)
*The song is not included in its entity in the podcast due to copyright issue.
From the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19 until now, we have launched various surveys to understand the effects of the pandemic on children, parents, and parenting.
During school suspensions, children had to stay at home, meaning parents had to reorganize childcare. 80% of parents were worried about their children’s development. 70% of them expressed their concerns about their children’s learning progress via online means. 65% of parents were concerned about the social skills development of their children due to no peer interaction. More than 70% revealed concerns about the risks of them and their children being infected with COVID-19. The parents indicated that their work and social lives had been significantly disrupted because of social distancing measures in Hong Kong. The parents were stressed out.
Moreover, it was found that parent-child relationships had deteriorated. More than 60% of parents said that they had more frequent arguments with their children since kids were more prone to have emotional and behavioral problems due to the stressors of the pandemic. In particular, young children under 6 are vulnerable to developmental shocks resulting from the pandemic because of a confluence of risk factors. These factors include delays in healthcare visits, lost access to child care and early education programmes, and economic-related hardship.
Fear, uncertainty, and being holed up at home more to slow the spread of COVID-19 can make it tough for families to keep a sense of calm. It’s therefore specially important to help children feel safe, maintain a healthy routine, manage their emotions and behaviors, and build resilience.
Parents should address the fear of their children, and answering their questions about the pandemic age appropriately.
Keep predictable routines even under school suspension in order to keep up the momentum of children’s lives. Parents can structure play, learning, exercise, nap, and reading time during school closures.
It’s important to spend quality time with relatives and loved ones with different means like Facetime, WhatsApp, writing letters, or YouTube videos. These practices will maintain good social interaction with others. At least, social skills can be practiced in the usage of social media.
It is normal that children will act out more often under stress, anxiety, or fear through their behaviors during the pandemic which can in turn upset parents, particularly if they are already stressed. It is highly recommend that parents to use positive parenting to regulate children's misbehaviour. It means parents should acknowledge the wants behind the misbehaviours of their children, speak aloud about the feelings or wants of their children, and suggest timely alternative behaviours to them.
In order to face the challenges together with parents, our organization has launched different kinds of services to respond to their needs. For lessening the stresses of parents on children’s learning, we have developed home-based learning materials via our community centres for the families. Parents can use these materials, performing the role of their children’s first teachers and lead their kids to learn age-appropriate knowledge at home. In turn, the parent-child relationship will keep upbeat with the help of these interactive, fun, and meaningful learning activities. For soothing the high tension of the parents under the pandemic, our Parent Wellness Project has offered online wellness programmes to assist them to get their own “me-time”. The parents can put aside their work and communicate with their inner-self. For less fortunate families, such as low-income families, young parent families, families with mental health issues, or having children with special educational needs, their difficulties are much more than for other families during the past 2 years of the pandemic. We have continuously provided anti-pandemic measures, meal allowances, limited face-to-face parent-child services and online interactive services.
Whatever our circumstances, this period is tough on our mental health and our relationships. We may face challenges with our children but perhaps also opportunities to get to understand our children better, to learn new things together, and to be together as a family.
And now I have a song I'd like to dedicate to all of you listening. My song is: 姜涛嘅 蒙着嘴说爱你