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UK News

Survey by Christian children's charity warns a third of UK children lonely since lockdown

by Tola Mbakwe

A new survey by Christian children's charity World Vision UK has revealed  one in three UK children between five and 18 years old have told parents they are lonely since the government shut schools.

The YouGov survey also found that almost a third of parents noticed negative changes in their children's behaviour since lockdown. They include behaviours such as tantrums, meltdowns, nightmares, stomach aches, fighting and crying. 

The charity said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on children's emotional wellbeing can be easily overlooked, but it should never be underestimated.

World Vision has warned that children can suffer acute anxiety when their lives are turned upside down. 

Over one in five (22 per cent) children are concerned a family member or close friend could die from catching coronavirus. 

World Vision global advocacy leader Dana Buzducea told Premier Christian News that it's important for parents to address these concerns. 

"They need to talk to their children, find out what they know and make sure that you are clarifying whatever they don't fully understand. Use words that are easy for children to understand. For some children drawing may be easier. And in order to help children understand, they can use stories and they can use examples. 

"The second most important thing that parents need to do is to show children they are loved and physically show they love them. 
"Explain to the children what they're doing to make sure their family is safe."

The survey found that girls tend to show their distress at the coronavirus upheaval in a different way to boys. Girls are more likely to become more easily upset and complain of ailments like stomach aches and headaches. Boys are more likely to become fidgety and fight more.

Buzducea told Premier about the importance of parents praying for and with their children. 

"It's extremely important that they pray together and they include in those prayers, the children's significant relatives or very close friends. 
"Help children draw closer to God. Help them understand that God wants us to continue to pray for others. After all, this is in the DNA of our Christian beliefs."
 

Listen to the interview with Dana Buzducea here:

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