Has lockdown psychologically damaged our kids?

I ask with so-called ‘Freedom Day’ on the horizon and all remaining Covid restrictions due to be lifted after almost 18 months living under varying degrees of lockdown.


I was 37 weeks pregnant with Violet and finished work to go on my highly anticipated final maternity leave (the one where I was going to do all the things I didn’t do before, like sleep when the baby sleeps) the day schools and nurseries closed in March 2020.

Pre Covid there is absolutely no way I’d ever willingly take on the responsibility of homeschooling, yet homeschooling is precisely what I found myself doing along with thousands of unwitting parents up and down the country. And now we seem to be out the other side I’m worried about how the experience has affected the kids, and what the fallout will be afterwards.

Has lockdown psychologically damaged our kids?

At first Bluebell and Max loved being off school, but the novelty soon wore off and the reality of not being in school, seeing their friends and doing their usual activities and after school clubs hit.

There were good days, bad days, and very bad days in our house. A low point had to be the day Bluebell and I both cried over improper fractions, because she didn’t understand it and I didn’t understand it either.


Every day the schools were closed the kids fell more and more behind, because it simply wasn’t possible for one person (me) to deliver two completely separate sets of lessons to two children of different ages while looking after their younger sister and a baby. It got to the point I felt like I was essentially unschooling, and they knew it.

The fact is staring at a screen at home simply wasn’t the right learning environment for Bluebell or Max. They needed to be around children of their own age and teachers who could give them their undivided attention, not in a learning environment run by an unqualified and sleep deprived mum with a younger sister watching Peppa Pig, a breastfed baby who was cluster feeding and a stressed out dad trying to work in another room.


During the first lockdown Max was in reception and went back to school in June 2020, but Bluebell was in year four and wasn’t allowed back until September. Then they were both at home again when the schools closed between January and March 2021, meaning Max has missed a total of six months schooling and Bluebell has missed nine months. Add to that the occasional burst bubble, and the disruption continues.

I don’t worry about Max so much because he’s younger, but for Bluebell I’m afraid the legacy of those nine months will last for years. Academically she has been on catch up ever since, with the school delivering extra English and maths lessons, but I’m also worried about how the experience has affected her from an emotional and mental point of view. I really hope being locked down and away from school and her friends for the best part of a year hasn’t scarred her for life.


By the time the kids went back to school after the last lockdown there were 51 outstanding activities in Bluebell’s home learning Seesaw account, and 48 in Max’s. That’s 99 lessons they haven’t done and missed out on. Of course, all you can do is your best and that’s what we did through each lockdown. But what if our best isn’t enough?

Do you worry about the impact of lockdown and the fallout afterwards too? I’d love to hear your point of view!

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