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Letter from Managing Editor

Pressure cooker home environments created by Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, are bringing out the worst in people. During the past five months since the deadly epidemic began to spread worldwide, incidents of domestic violence, child abuse, murder and suicide are beginning to dominate media headlines. The loss of personal freedoms, mobility, financial and health anxieties plus prolonged social isolation, is damaging inter-personal relationships and disrupting family life. In India, the National Commission for Women has received 1,477 domestic violence complaints during the March 25-May 31 period from women across the country — a ten-year high. Moreover, the Central government’s Childline India reports that the number of distress calls requiring official intervention have crossed 1.58 lakh between March-July this year.

With ‘lockdown rage’ aka ‘Covid anger’ sweeping the nation, parents, children, and adolescents are struggling to maintain the balance of family life. Parents in particular are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety about managing dwindling incomes, balancing work from home with child care duties and household chores. Unsurprisingly, a rising number of them are reporting anger management problems with vulnerable children often the targets of their frustration. In our August cover story, we highlight the dangers that lockdown rage is posing to family harmony, stability and relationships, and present expert advice on how parents can manage their anger and frustrations in the interest of maintaining domestic peace and goodwill. While simultaneously enabling children to cope with pandemic-related anxiety.

Also check out our Early Childhood section written by Dr. Swati Popat Vats, president of the Early Childhood Association of India, on why parents must not neglect early childhood care and education — “the foundation of all education and future learning” — during this health emergency. Other recommendations in this information-packed issue: a dental care primer for youngest children by Dr. Janani Rangaswamy, and Middle Years story on ways and means to keep children safe while they’re learning online.

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