Re: quarantine interferes with child development #MHPSS #MHPSSforChildren #QuarantineFacilities #childdevelopment

Koen Sevenants

Hmm. Ok, then. Let’s talk about adolescents and how parents and caregivers can reduce the impact of quarantine on adolescents.  As I mentioned, for adolescents it is bit of more complicated story. What you need to know that is when we talk about social and emotional development, we often refer to something what is called the ‘task of age’. In simple words, the task of age refers to things that are child has to learn at a specific age. I am not talking about school learning or academic learning. Instead, I refer to social and emotional aspects that child needs to learn. A simple example: if you listen to two-years old, you will often hear the word ‘no’. To learn to say ‘no’ is a socio-emotional task of age. If the child does not learn to say no at that age, it will have consequences for the rest for the remains of his/her life (although this can be adjusted). So, adolescents have  3 tasks of age: (1) they will do a mental review of their life (which can lead  to disappointment and as such anger at parents, since parents used to be his/her heroes), (2) finding an answer to the question ‘who am I’ and (3) further emotional separation from parents. In each of these tasks, peers are very important. So, now the question of reducing the impact on development of adolescents becomes: how you can assist adolescents to comply with each of these development tasks-of-age in the absence of peers. If you confirm that this is clear for you and you are with me on this,  I will proceed with the first task-of-age



From: <> on behalf of "JWedge via" <joannawedge@...>
Reply to: "" <>
Date: Tuesday, 2 June 2020 at 21:08
To: " Group Moderators" <>
Subject: Re: [cpaorcovid19] quarantine interferes with child development #MHPSSforChildren #MHPSS #childdevelopment #QuarantineFacilities


I would be interested in hearing Koen's approach for adolescents. I often find that we limit our discussions on MHPSS to younger children. I am all ears.


On Tue, 2 Jun 2020 at 12:54, Koen Maurice Sevenants <ksevenants@...> wrote:

Dear Eric, thank you for the interest in this topic. In general, topics concerning child development in general and more specifically social and emotional development are not receiving enough attention. Mostly people involved in MHPSS focus on psychosocial states on this very moment without placing it in the wider picture of comprehensive development of the child.  Yet, it is the impact  that events and difficult periods have on the development of the child that will last way into adulthood.  To answer your question: yes. There are things that parents or caregivers can do. (1) Be aware that social development occurs in the  relation between people and between children. For children going to primary school it is normal and good that they have best friends, change best friends, make little groups, and have small quarrels (obviously not to the point of bullying!). The child is exploring social interactions and relations. As parents there is no need to interfere, nor to be judgmental or take sides. During quarantine you can facilitate contact with friends over the phone, and you can also bring – although not physically- friends into the room. This is how you do that: Let children draw their friends and the games they play. Let them explain why they like their friends. Let them draw or explain what they value in other children, how they can be nice to children and how children can be nice to them. Let them explain how going on a big walk with their friends would be, what they would be talking about, etc. Be creative in finding ways to bring social contact in the hearts of the children 😊. For adolescents, it is slightly more complicated. But if you are interested I can also tell you how to mitigate the impact of quarantine on their social and emotional development.


From: <> on behalf of "Eric Wyss via" <>
Reply to: "" <>
Date: Tuesday, 2 June 2020 at 16:32
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [cpaorcovid19] quarantine interferes with child development #MHPSSforChildren #MHPSS #childdevelopment #QuarantineFacilities


Thanks Koen. Is it unavoidable that quarantines produce such negative effects or are there ways to avoid those in the first place while they last?


Joanna Wedge, M.S.W.

International consultant: child protection & safeguarding / humanitarian capacity-building

Phone/Whatsapp: +1.647.778.4308 (UTC-5)

Skype: joanna.wedge


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