Children 'struggling to socialise in person after months of lockdowns'

6 May 2021, 05:58

One head teacher in Essex told LBC that since coming back in March, children are finding face to face interaction difficult
One head teacher in Essex told LBC that since coming back in March, children are finding face to face interaction difficult. Picture: PA

By Charlotte Sullivan

Children are struggling to socialise in person following months of lockdowns and everything being online, parents and headteachers have told LBC.

For the past year children have been forced to rely on computers and technology to interact with their friends, and it is feared the transition of coming offline and back into the real world might not be a straight forward one for many young people.

One head teacher in Essex told LBC that since coming back in March, children are finding face to face interaction difficult, as they settle back into pre-lockdown friendship groups.

Addy Willis said her six-year-old son is now reluctant to go outside, and she is now seeing first-hand how an increased use of computers and devices has had an effect during lockdown.

Read more: Care home residents can visit loved ones without isolating after 'barbaric' rules dropped

Read more: Care home coronavirus rules: what are the latest changes?

The Brentwood mum said: "Even going back to school, he constantly wants to come back home and go back on the computer… to have zoom calls with friends to play computer games."

But she added that it's also now down to parents to rebalance things out.

"More screen time than before will be the norm," she said.

Many children have been primarily home schooled for the past year
Many children have been primarily home schooled for the past year. Picture: PA

"I think it's up to us as parents to make sure our children don't become too introverted because of this and only want to socialise via zoom or think that that's the normal way to socialise.”

A school in Suffolk has now brought in trauma support to help students who have developed mental health issues following lockdown.

Dave Lee Allen, head at Stowmarket High School, told LBC: "We have definitely seen an impact following the last lockdown… we're seeing a reticence to engage and a lack of confidence really, in their social interactions.

Read more: Donald Trump remains banned from Facebook after suspension upheld

"We've also picked up some stories… that during the lockdown process some of them wouldn't even leave their rooms, would be online for many hours in a day.

"We're now looking at it from a trauma informed process. I have clinical staff at the school who are feeding me some quite horrific details of individuals and while we see those as the outliers, I think there is a more fundamental problem that we are facing.

NHS app may not be ready to use as jab passport when foreign travel resumes, No10 admits

"So when we are looking at the idea of catching up, we are looking at the idea of catching up on mental health, socialisation and on the joy of the curriculum because the students just haven’t had drama groups and music groups and sports activities and that is really what we feel is needed for these young people right now to help start to build that resilience.

"The size of the challenge facing (staff) is so considerable that I think it needs a fundamental and whole school approach. So we are looking at how we do that, the training and the CPD that's required.

"The changing of the language that we use as teacher and a greater understanding of what the students have been through. So it's a fundamental shift on how education needs to be delivered.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friends from 'the middle of nowhere' on night out

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friend from 'the middle of nowhere' on night out

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'We would seek a better agreement' Keir Starmer tells LBC where he thinks "botched" Brexit deal can be improved

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast show

Keir Starmer defends plan to repeal law protecting veterans from prosecution due to ‘lack of support’ in NI

Exclusive
Sir Keir Starmer took questions from LBC listeners this morning with a few weeks until the nation goes to the polls

Starmer refuses to rule out council tax hike, bins plans for football levy and admits he would have served under Corbyn

Exclusive
Sir Keir emphasised the importance of single-sex spaces

Trans people will be accommodated in 'side rooms' of single-sex wards, Sir Keir Starmer tells LBC

Khandi, 14, Amelia, 9, and Malik, 7, who were reported missing just after 7pm yesterday

Three children missing after day out at Thorpe Park as police launch urgent search

Exclusive
Sir Keir Starmer skewered by LBC caller over Jeremy Corbyn

'I didn't think we would win': Keir Starmer skewered by LBC listener over supporting Jeremy Corbyn

Exclusive
Sir Keir Starmer speaks to LBC

‘No magic wand’ to recruit more teachers as Starmer insists removing ‘tax breaks’ for private schools is ‘tough choice’

Sir Keir Starmer took questions from LBC listeners this morning with a few weeks until the nation goes to the polls

'It would be foolish to write five years worth of budgets now': Starmer refuses to rule out council tax rises

Mbappe suffered a broken nose in France's opening Euro 2024 match

No surgery required for Mbappe after horror broken nose as Euro 2024 future in question for star striker

Love Island star Jack Fowler recounted the ordeal on social media

‘I couldn’t breathe’: Love Island star reveals he ‘nearly died’ after suffering allergic reaction during flight to Dubai

This is Mr Putin's first visit to North Korea since 2000

Putin to meet Kim Jong Un in first visit to North Korea in 24 years

The M25 between Gatwick and Heathrow airport will shut for an entire weekend

Exact date holidaymakers face more chaos as M25 to shut between Heathrow and Gatwick for a full weekend

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Live
Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar

General Election LIVE: Starmer refuses to rule out council tax rises and Scottish Labour announces its manifesto

Jeremy Hunt was made Chancellor by Liz Truss

Jeremy Hunt says he is ‘trying to achieve the same things as Liz Truss’ and ‘denies long-term effects of mini-budget’