“It is difficult for a child to accept that a relative has caught coronavirus and to keep up with this new situation,” said Öğr. See. Barış Tuncer emphasized that they need adult support and guidance to cope with this unusual situation. Tuncer said, “Parental illness is a special condition that affects the child psychologically. “Parent hospitalization and separation of the child from the parent can leave deep emotional scars for children of certain ages,” he said.
“THE TRUTH SHOULD NOT BE DISTORTED”
Lecturer See. Barış Tuncer explained how children should be informed in case a family member becomes ill and changes occur in the life flow such as going to the doctor or hospitalization as follows:
“The simple contents of the explanations make it easier for the child to perceive the situation. Medical explanations, complex information will increase the child’s anxiety. Basic information should be explained without too much extension and the child should be given the opportunity to ask questions. The questions asked by the child should be answered without distorting the truth, at a level that an adult can understand, without going into details. During the interview with the child, no advice, instructions or instructions should be given to the child to avoid some emotions. Especially 3-year-old children should not be encouraged to cry with words such as ‘don’t cry, man, man doesn’t cry’. Instead, letting the child share his thoughts that foster these feelings and correct his incomplete and incorrect information will reduce the intensity of these emotions. “
Barış Tuncer stated that parents who are caught with coronavirus should tell their children about the disease honestly, “The name of the disease, its effects, what should be paid attention to, its treatment, and the duration of the treatment should be explained. While doing this, sentences that will discourage the child should not be used.
“IT SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS”
Emphasizing that the child should be allowed to express his feelings and thoughts in the face of illness, Tuncer said, “Responsibilities related to the home can be given appropriate to their age and development level. This will give the child the feeling of helping and make the child see himself more valuable. The child who learns that a member of the family is sick may show some behavioral problems and attention-seeking behaviors. In such cases, it is necessary to be patient and be understanding towards the child ”.
“STAYING AWAY FROM PARENTS CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS”
Stating that the parents’ caught coronavirus and especially hospitalized cause feelings of separation anxiety and fear of loss in young children, Barış Tuncer gave the following information about how age groups experience these feelings:
“Children between the ages of 3-5 are more concerned about separation from their parents rather than the parents’ illness. The 3-year-old child does not understand the parent’s illness. However, attention may be drawn to some situations related to parent’s treatment or the parent’s illness. 4-year-olds are more aware of the seriousness of the event. The child can associate the sorrow of the people around him with his parents’ illness. At this age, children can reflect their sadness in their games. 5-year-olds are more aware of their parents’ illnesses, they can know the name of the disease, but they cannot explain the effects of the disease on the body. Generally, all children are very affected by their parents’ illness. They reflect the tension and stress created by this situation on their paintings, plays and subjects they tell. Staying away from parents for a long time due to illness may cause some problems in young children such as sleep disorders, introversion, regression, stubbornness, and aggression. “
“It is too wrong to be afraid with illness”
Tuncer pointed out that some parents try to create fear about health and illness in order to make their children do or not do something, “For example; “If you do mischief again, I will be sick”, “Look, Ahmet is so sad that his mother is corona, and if you upset me, I will be corona, and trying to control his behavior by affecting the child emotionally is a very erroneous and objectionable attitude. “It can cause serious problems such as a relative’s blaming himself for getting sick, a state of depression and low self-esteem.”