Your cover story ‘Coping with the online learning revolution’ (PW July) highlighted the stress that families are experiencing in the transition to online learning. In our case, both my children hate online learning; miss interacting with their friends and teachers, and playing sports and games.
School managements are also adding to the stress by constantly changing online classes time tables and assessment systems. All this is taking a toll on children’s emotional and physical health. One of my sons has developed a hunch and the other constant eye strain
I’m hoping and praying we have a vaccine soon and children can return to schools where they can learn and play with friends.
Huge online learning costs
Thanks for your informative and thoughtful July cover story ‘Coping with the online learning revolution’.
For most households like ours the transition to online learning has been very difficult. I have three children in two different classes — two in class X (twins) and one in class IX. All of them are in the same school, which means that they have classes at the same time. This has put a huge strain on us to provide web-enabled digital devices.
My husband and I are both working from home and cannot share our laptops with them. So we had to buy two new laptops on hire purchase. The expense was huge. I can’t imagine how other families in which one or both parents have lost jobs because of the pandemic, are coping with the expense of investing in computers/ laptops.
Also what about the large majority of children who cannot afford laptops or Internet connections? The consequences of this loss of learning will be paid by the Indian economy for decades to come.
Economic hardship hurting children
The July issue of ParentsWorld had many stories focusing on the stress and strain caused to families by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. But one important reality that your writers didn’t touch upon is the economic hardship faced by families.
Job loss, pay cuts and salary deferments have hurt many households, and in turn adversely affected children. Some families are unable to pay school fees while others are borrowing from friends and family to scrape tuition fees together for online learning, but are not able to afford online extra-curricular classes.
Families have had to also cut down on eating out and buying toys/games for children. Financial uncertainty makes children insecure and anxious about the future, especially when they are socially isolated from friends.
Parent touch benefit
As a nurse and parent, I was delighted to read the story ‘Benefits of infant massage’ (PW July). Often the benefits of infant massage are under-rated and most parents seldom take to it. As you rightly state, regular infant massages strengthen parent and child bonding as well as relax infants inducing sleep and alleviating stress.
That being said, however, the benefits of massage are lost if one hires a professional masseur. The main benefit is not in the expertise of the massage but in the touch of a parent. You may not be as good as a professional, but it’s your physical touch and warmth that your infant craves.
Art & craft inclusion request
Thank you for publishing an excellent magazine on parenting. I enjoy reading all sections, specially Fun with Words together with my 12-year-old daughter. Fortunately during the lockdown, I have been able to minimise my daughter’s screen time and instead encouraged her to read and engage in art and craft activities. It’s a good idea to include in the magazine a section featuring DIY art and craft activities for children.