Real Talk

Covid-19: In the Eyes of the Filipino Child

How has the Covid-19 Pandemic affected children? Parenting expert Dr Clarissa Mariano-Ligon reveals the result of her study

This pandemic has definitely taken a toll on all of us, but what is living during Covid-19 really like for our children? A year after the NCR was placed in a lockdown, here we are again, back to ECQ. But ever wondered how Covid-19 affects children?

Parenting expert and doctor of Philosophy in Family Studies Dr Clarissa Mariano-Ligon shares the results on her study, Covid-19: In the Eyes of a Filipino Child where she examined the effect of the pandemic on children and how they cope.

How Does a Child See the Covid-19 Pandemic?

What COVID-19 means to kids

According to Dr Clarissa, children learned about the Covid-19 pandemic through their parents as well as media and friends. It has made them feel sad and scared. They feel unnerved by what the country and the rest of the world are facing, only made worse by what they watch on TV or hear about on social media. Hearing about people suffering from the virus and families that lost a loved one doesn’t help either. They are distraught by the possibility any family member might contract the virus and get sick and even die. Plus, they also feel sad because they are not allowed to leave their home.  

a child facing the covid-19 pandemic

How do they deal with it?

To counteract these negative feelings, Dr Clarissa says that kids try their best to keep themselves busy with different activities. These include playing computer games, board games, toys and even pets, watching movies, programs and news, doing arts and crafts such as drawing, painting, sketching, beadwork and paper folding.

Their daily routine involves eating, sleeping, grooming, praying and attending virtual mass. They also help in household chores such as house cleaning and helping in the kitchen, washing clothes, cooking, baking and watering plants. These activities assuages their fear, boredom, sadness, anger and other negative emotions.

Adjusting to the new normal

Like adults, it is also difficult for children to adjust to the social distancing protocols. They miss doing being outdoors with their family, close relatives and friends. They miss going to the mall, beaches, parks, restaurants and also going on vacation. In her study, Dr Clarissa noted that many participants also miss face-to-face school activities, even daily activities like going outside to buy food, walking around the neighborhood and going to church.  

How strong family ties and religion are helping kids cope

a little gift living amidst a covid-19 pandemic

The bright side? Dr Clarissa says that family ties and relations have been strengthened during the pandemic. In her study, kids talked a lot about their families. They shared that they see as their families as their strongest support system during these tough times.

Apart from their families, the children also shared that they get support from God which is expressed in prayer. There is a repeated reference to prayer and God from the study. The children mentioned that prayer is a part of their daily routine, their own response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  What’s nice to mention, is that the children not only pray for themselves but also for their families, friends, the frontliners and the rest of the world stricken with COVID.

Covid-19: In the Eyes of a Filipino Child was first published in Sage Publishing last October 25, 2020 with 200 participants authored by Lourdes Urbano Agbing, Josephine Dionela Agapito, Ann Marie Albano Baradi, Bernadette C. Guzman, Clarissa Mariano-Ligon, Arsenia Tuazon Lozano

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