I was curious what other parents are most worried about, or sad about, given the current situation and the impact it’s having on kids. So I asked on the A Mothership Down Facebook page. The responses were overwhelming! So many parents shared their thoughts on this once-in-a-lifetime experience we’re all trying to navigate.
My biggest fears have been less about illness and more about the impact of social isolation on young kids. It turns out that a lot of parents share my concern. But other worries and sadnesses made the list as well.
It was strangely comforting to read through so many responses, I think because it’s a reminder that everyone is going through something hard at the same time. Whatever it is that you’re worrying about, chances are that someone else is, too.
34 Parents Share What They Are Most Worried About For Their Kids
1) “My biggest concern is the social impact. My daughter was working so hard on coming out of her shell and developing her self confidence away from us, and I feel like it has all been taken away from her. I really worry that this lack of socialization is going to cause a lot of regression and make the next school year harder for her.” – Alexandra
2) “I’m more sad than worried, mainly about lost time with friends and family. But one thing I’ve been thinking about is what kind of opportunity can come from this? I want them to be able to say someday “if I hadn’t had all that time at home I wouldn’t have been able to do X” (like, ‘I read every Babysitters Club book known to man – and that’s how I learned that I wanted to be a writer!’ Or ‘my parents were so busy working all day, so I started experimenting with baking on my own, and that’s how I realized how much I love it.’) I don’t know exactly what I want for them but I want this time to have meaning, I guess? I know we shouldn’t expect ourselves to do much more than just get through it, but that’s not what I want for them.” – Chrissie
3) “I’m worried about the lack of socialization and the poor response concerning my child on an IEP. From the top all the way down to the county level – in so many words the response has been ‘oh well, you’re on your own.'” – Ella
4) “My oldest has a history of anxiety and depression. She is currently doing great, and for that I am extremely grateful. Pre-COVID her therapists told us that the most important part of treatment for depression and suicidal ideation is community, activity, and socialization. Unfortunately, this quarantine goes against all of those recommendations. I’m not going to borrow stress and worry when it is not currently warranted, but I will say that my kid’s mental health is one of my main concerns right now.” – Aya
5) “My biggest worry is that they will lose someone close to them. My husband is a firefighter and our parents, aunts and uncles are older and higher risk. Now that I think about it, I’m also really scared for all of us based on the behavior people have been showing through this crisis. I truly worry not just for our kids, but for our country as a whole and where we are headed. These are scary times for sure.” – Ashley
6) “I’m more sad than worried. My kids are 12 and almost 7. The 12-year- old is OK. He misses his friends, but technology has helped them stay connected. But the younger one is devastated. He misses his friends and his teacher and his routine. He cried when he realized they didn’t get to have an Easter party at school. Now we are having to cancel his birthday party, which he’s been counting down to for months. My mama heart is just so, so sad for him.” – Jayme
7) “I’m worried about the mental health effects of isolation, especially for my 16-year-old. They were just coming out of a severe anxiety/ depression episode when this hit, and they don’t have a lot of social connections to connect with even virtually. I’m also worried about my 14-year-old, but she seems to be in a better place.” – Jessica
8) “It’s my 6-year-old’s first year of school, and it was cut short without any notice. That in and of itself (especially for a child with anxiety, like mine) can be traumatizing. I’m sad that I won’t get to see him perform for his Kindergarten Graduation, or have Field Day, or the end of the year ice cream socials. I’m also sad that he’s been away from his friends and other kids his age for too long. It’s a critical time for friendships and social skills. Academically, all kids are in the same boat, so I’m not worried about that nearly as much as their social well being.” – Holly
9) “I’m worried about my son not being able to interact with his peers and how much screen time I’m giving him. I try to give him attention and play with him, but I’m not 5. I’m honestly really worn out trying to take care of his 7-month-old brother. Friend time was such a good way for him to get his energy out and be stimulated. The other day he cried ‘no one will play with me.’ I’m trying to support his needs. It’s just hard.” – Beth
10) “I have a 7-year-old and a 1-year-old. My older child wants to play board games and do stuff, but it’s so hard because the baby always needs something or is grabbing or ‘getting in the way.’ Sometimes I want to put the baby down and promise him as soon as the baby goes to sleep we can play a game, but I am so damn exhausted by the end of the day. He misses his friends and us getting out.” – Erica
11) “My biggest concern for my kids is that I am overwhelmed and not responding to them as they need and deserve. That I am snappy rather than understanding, making a situation which is already hard on them worse.” – Lida
12) “I’m definitely worried about the lack of socialization. My son is about to turn one and was doing really well with the other kids and rotating teachers at daycare. Now he hasn’t spent time with anyone but us in more than a month, and he seems fearful of going places we haven’t been before and wary of the few strangers we have seen. It’s not all because of COVID – we also moved to a new house right in the middle of all of this – but I really don’t think it’s helping.” – Sara
13) “I’m definitely the most worried about the social impact. I’m the parent of an only child, and while FaceTime with friends, games on Skype with grandparents, etc. are a frequent occurrence, I know she’s missing her school friends and missing being around other kids instead of just her parents. It’s difficult.” – Christine
14) “As a foster parent I’m concerned because family connections are challenged for the kids. My guys are not able to physically see and interact like they physically need to (or get those hugs they want) with their biological parents. I know that many divorced families deal with this as well. All my guys miss playing with cousins and being with family. Our parents aren’t getting younger and their time to interact with the kids is already limited by distance. Now, no visits either.”- Sue
15) “I am worried about all of the special services my daughter is missing for her disability. It’s so hard to see her struggle!”- Shirley
16) “My daughter Madeline is turning two in July, and I’m so sad she’s missing out on time to socialize and learn at daycare, with grandparents and also just exploring outside at the parks and beaches with her peers. This CANNOT go on for years.” – Courtney
17) “I share the concern about our kids losing out on the social interaction they took part in at school. I feel it’s a crucial part of their development, and it breaks my heart to hear my kids talk about how much they miss seeing their teachers, and playing with their friends at school.” – Diana
18) “I’m worried about their lack of social interaction. My kids are very social and we spent a great deal of time with family and our friends who have kids, so we have a large, consistent village. Losing that and their school friends is so hard on them.” – Carolyn
19) “I worry about the lack of one-on-one time. With three kids under the age of four and a job, no one is getting the focused attention they need.” – Heather
20) “I’m bummed that my kids miss their cousins and friends, but our relationship has grown and it’s definitely made me a better parent. This will only be a lag of a few months on their education, so I’m not worried about that.” – Joshua
21) My son is already losing range of motion in his ankles because he can’t go to physical therapy. He has Cerebral Palsy and other medical challenges that he usually goes to therapy 6 times a week for. And he goes to developmental preschool twice a week. Now, he’s home with me and I’m doing my best. But I’m only one human and I’m trying to replace the 10+ professionals he used to see each week.” – Marisa
22) “I’m worried about the sheer quantity of screen time.” – Leah
23) “Both of my girls are at risk of regression, as they are both on the autism spectrum. I’d say I’m more sad though, as other have said. Right when my daughter was really truly starting to enjoy peer interaction, it was taken away. We got a swing set and new books and toys, but I know she just misses her friends.” – Hannah
24) “My son has Autism, but was diagnosed at the end of February. We did not have time to access much needed supports before all this happened. Virtual support is not the same.” – Jewel
25) “Honestly, I’m worried if I get sick they will lose their mom. I have severe asthma being controlled on medication. My kids are young, the oldest is in Kindergarten and I’m able to make each day special for them. My oldest doesn’t seem to mind being at home more with her brothers, and honestly I hold them a little tighter right now.” – Jessica
26) “I’m most worried that if I die, they’ll have no mum. I’m not worried about the academics. I’m not worried about their social life. I’m worried that me or someone they love will die, and it will break them.” – Ema
27) “My biggest worry is for my 3rd grader. He is dyslexic and struggles with reading, but worked with a tutor all year to get his scores up, at least until schools closed. Now his teacher says they will have to base his progression on his previous scores, and she is recommending he be retained in 3rd grade. He’ll be devastated not to go on to 4th with the classmates he’s been with since Kindergarten.” – Kate
28) “I have a very anxious 1st grader who had made tons of progress when it came to his school routine and being around other people (he plays with friends and cousins, but likes plenty of alone time). He’s now having all this free time to be creative and spend his days how he wants, which is wonderful! But I’m wondering how that’s going to affect him when school restarts.” – Ailin
29) “Out of my five kids, my biggest worry is about my 5th grade son. He LOVES being home and has a bit of anxiety with change or new places. He’ll start middle school next year after being at home, no socializing, maybe no baseball season, no contact with people other than family for maybe 6 months. He will have a very hard time transitioning back into school with teachers and hallways and a cafeteria he’s never seen. I’m already crying for him about that first day of school, just picturing him walking into that cafeteria for the first time not knowing where to sit or who to sit with.” – Debbie
30) I have a 2-year-old and an 8-month old, and my husband and I are both working full time from home with the kids. My main concern is lack of socialization for both, but especially my 2-year-old. He is so incredibly social and loved his friends at school. He’s also very high energy and if he’s not playing enough he has trouble sleeping. It’s exhausting keeping up with him and managing the baby while we try to work. I try to be fun and imaginative, but I’ve seen the way he plays with his buddies at school and it’s just not the same. I worry how hard it will be to get that back when we’re able to relax social distancing. Just lots of unknowns. – Jessica
31) “As a teacher and a mother I am not concerned about the academics. Teachers will adjust to the needs of the students and although they may miss some curriculum they will emerge with a new set of skills they would not have had before, such as perseverance, empathy, appreciation for technology, etc. With that being said, my concern is the social-emotional impact, and the stress of the families.” – Jessica
32) “I’m also a teacher – I’m worried more about the social-emotional development for my own kids (and my school kids) and less about the academics. We will catch them up academically once they’re back. The trauma that many will experience will make it more difficult, though. I worry about my own kids since a lot of their social skills are still developing (they are only 5 and 3), and it can’t be replicated at home where they are not around other kids their age.” – Samantha
33) “I’m worried about my 7-year-old’s overall health. She’s not getting nearly enough exercise, likely because her main source of activity was swimming, and pools are closed. Her arthritis makes it hard for her to do weight-bearing exercise. The treatment for her arthritis also puts her at increased risk for getting sick by compromising her immune system.” – Kirsten
34) “I’m sad for my kid who has to wait for mom and dad to take a work break to be his best friend, his teacher, his hairdresser, his mom, his everything. He misses his friends so much he tears up. It’s just so hard sometimes. But, on the other side we are enjoying the slowing down of life in a sense. No commute, no errands, no sports practice to get to. No rush. Just us.” – Pamela
What’s your biggest worry right now? I’d love to hear from you.
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