American Childhood Challenged Through the Pandemic

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Courtesy of Kevin Creamer (Flickr CC0)

American children are experiencing some challenges as families find ways to live through this pandemic the best they can. There is accumulating data and reports that show that the difficulties children experience during the pandemic have become alarming, according to the New York Times, on Jan. 4, 2022.

Some of the Challenges American Children Face

Regarding academics, American children were falling behind in school during the first year of the pandemic and had little time to catch up, according to the New York Times. Among children in the third and eighth grades, reading and mathematics levels were collectively lower than usual this recent fall, according to research group NWEA.

In addition, unfortunately, shortcomings regarding academics were most evident for Black and Hispanic students, along with students in schools located in areas with high poverty rates, according to the New York Times.

Courtesy of Jernej Furman (Flickr CC0)

Another challenge American children are experiencing is mental health problems. These problems are initiated by “isolation and disruption of the pandemic,” states the New York Times. The American Academy of Pediatrics Has declared a state of emergency due to the mental health issues children in America are experiencing. The agency also noted a drastic surplus in emergency department visits regarding mental health emergencies.

In addition to the mental health problems children are experiencing, behavioral issues are increasing. Kalyn Belsha of Chalkbeat asserts that schools across the country are witnessing a slight increase in disruptive behavior. For instance, some behavioral problems are more visible than others, including children running out of classrooms, fighting over social media posts, or trashing bathrooms. While other behavioral issues are not as visible, such as students refusing to speak and putting down their heads.

A teacher in Madison Wisconsin, Kelli Tuttle, told the New York Times that there is also “a lot of swearing, vandalism and some fights.”

The Impact of the New Variant

The Omicron variant is prevalent now, and the lives of children are “scrambling” again, according to the New York Times. Most American schools have remained open in the past week but have canceled events, such as plays, sports, and others. At the same time, some other districts closed schools recently for a day or more. A New York Times writer, Dana Goldstein, reports that this was done despite proving that most kids struggle to learn in a remote setting.

School closures are occurring in places like Atlanta, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Newark, multiple New York City suburbs.

The president of the National Parents Union, Keri Rodrigues, told Goldstein that the ” No.1 thing that parents and families are crying out for is stability” during this time.

Written by Ke’Lena Thomas
Edited by Jeanette Vietti


New York Times: No Wat to Grow Up; by David Leonhardt
NWEA: Learning during COVID-19: Reading and math achievement in 2020-2021 school year; by Karyn Lewis, Megan Kuhfeld, Erik Ruzek, and Andrew McEachin
American Academy of Pediatrics: AAP-AACAP-CHA Declaration of a National Emergency  in Child and Adolescent Mental Health; by American Academy of Pediatrics

Featured Image Courtesy of Kevin Creamer’s Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Jernej Furman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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