Canadian kids bored and missing friends in isolation, new poll suggests

A new poll focusing on Canada’s children shows the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people across the country, no matter their age.

The poll was conducted by the Angus Reid Institute and included responses from 650 children from the age of 10 to 17 nationwide, a sample size that normally carries a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

On the whole, it found kids are really, really bored. 

That was the most common word respondents used to describe how they’re feeling, chosen by 71 per cent. Forty-one per cent also said they feel “normal,” while older kids were twice as likely as younger ones to say they feel angry, the data shows, and half as likely to say they feel “good.”

The majority of respondents, 75 per cent, said they are keeping up with online classes, but 60 per cent also said they are “largely unmotivated.” Over half, 57 per cent, said they don’t like trying to take classes over the internet.

That doesn’t mean that every kid is clamouring to get back into a classroom, though. When asked how they would feel if they had to go back to school in the next month, only 36 per cent said they were looking forward to it, compared to 26 per cent who said they weren’t, and 38 per cent who said they feel just “OK” about the prospect.

(Angus Reid)

Another major fear was that their parents or other family members could get sick, the poll found.

Physical distancing measures are keeping children from seeing their peers, so it’s no shock that 54 per cent of respondents said that not seeing their friends was the thing they missed most, now that they have to stay home.

That was followed by 16 per cent saying they missed extracurricular activities like sports or music lessons, followed by 11 per cent who said “being able to go out without worrying.”

The poll also found that one in four respondents said their friendships had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

(Angus Reid)

When it comes to how they’re passing time during isolation, technology reigned supreme.

Eighty-eight per cent of respondents said they were watching TV, streaming services and YouTube to pass the time, while 74 per cent said they were playing video games.

Sixty-five per cent said they were texting or calling friends, while 58 per cent of respondents said they were spending time on social media.

Other responses included going for walks, playing with pets, and reading/drawing and other hobbies.

For a full breakdown, check out the results here.

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