HRT: “Contradictory messages come to parents of school children”

Next week, lower-grade students should return to school. Bruna Profaca, PhD, clinical psychologist at the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, said in program “Together for Health” on Croatian National Television (HRT) on May 4, 2020, that the situation has been extremely difficult for parents and children alike over the past six weeks. She stressed that parents were given contradictory instructions for their children to attend classes.

Psychologist Profaca emphasized that it is important that the information we receive in a crisis is clear and straightforward. She noted that children respond to the situation of how their parents react.

“If parents are more stable and can deal with the crisis, it will be easier for their children,” she said.

Profaca stressed that the crisis phase was prolonged and that it was still uncertain. She emphasized that parents were given contradictory instructions and that responsibility was shifted to parents:

– I think this is a very heavy responsibility and burden for parents to make decisions. Primarily because we see in Staff’s recommendations that children do not go to school, and then conditions are provided for parents to send their children to schools nonetheless.

She noted that such decisions cannot be the responsibility of parents. Profaca emphasized that it is especially difficult in this situation for divorced parents.

She said she hoped the parents’ organizations would help them meet. Profaca said some parents will need support where to place the child, but that should not mean that the child goes to school.

The psychologist stressed that the school principals themselves said that the conditions they received were unenforceable in schools. She noted that epidemiologists’ measures are ambiguous, as they recommend that children not go to school.

“And then there are all those measures that should be met in schools,” she added.

She stressed that all parents should listen to the doctor’s recommendations.

Profaca pointed out that there would probably be two systems of school attendance.

– One part of the children goes to school online, and the other part of the children attend these conditions which are not at all stressful. Children cannot finish school in the same system in two ways. This is not in line with their rights and equal opportunities and the right to discrimination, she added.

Profaca pointed out that high-school graduates and children at “developmental crossroads” are under the most stress.

– These are the smiles, these are the children who go from fourth to fifth grade, and the children who go to the first grade of primary school. I think everyone responsible should think about how to reduce stress for these families, she said.

She believes that there will be no normal assessment of children and that this situation should be relaxed.

Profaca stressed that it was difficult to predict the consequences of the crisis.

“The consequences will be on many levels, she added.”

Source: HRT:

Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center cannot be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.   

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