The coronavirus lockdown has been hard on children, with experts warning they may suffer separation anxiety as the start of the new school year looms.
Former The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, 31, knows this feeling all too well.
She shared a candid post about the anxiety her two children Parker, six and Carter, five, have faced since lockdown started on 23 March.
For many children in the UK, September will mark the first time they’ve been back at school in six months.
“Anyone else’s kids super clingy since all this covid stuff happened?” Bridge asked her 1.2 million followers.
The photo shows both children hugging their mum as she tries to work. She explained that this is how she was greeted after her husband, retired footballer Wayne Bridge, 40, took them out for the morning.
“It’s lovely...Not gonna lie...I love it...But definitely not how they used to be... I have to factor an extra 10 minutes in before leaving the house... to make space for the countless cuddles and I love you’s (sic) before I leave,” the presenter admitted.
“Parker called me yesterday hysterically crying as he hadn’t given me a cuddle before I left and that was just to do the food shop! The separation anxiety is real.”
Dr Zoi Nikiforidou, a senior lecturer in early childhood studies at Liverpool Hope University, warned us earlier in the year that children may feel this way as they get used to the proximity to their parents.
“Young children in particular are living through a new reality,” she says. “They will have settled into a new routine which has provided them with a safety net to escape the uncertainty.”
Dr Nikiforidou’s findings certainly align with Bridge’s experience, who admitted “going back to school will do us all the world of good”.
She added: “A bit of normality in this still... very uncertain time... in the meantime... I’ll take all the cuddles I can get... cos let’s be honest. They won’t always want Mummy cuddles.”
Parents shared similar experiences in the comments under Bridge’s posts, telling anecdotes of how their children have changed since lockdown started.
“OMG YES!!! Robin is an emotional wreck whenever one of us leaves the house! So unlike him! Poor little lambs,” Rosie Ramsay said.
“It’s lovely, but nobody talks about how it’s affected us and our children mentally,” another person added.