How to Help Kids Stay Happy During a Time of Social Distancing
“How COVID-19 Could Affect Kids’ Long-Term Social Development,” a recent article on Healthline.com, makes the following observations about how school-aged children are handling the requirement that they practice social distancing, remote classes, and sheltering at home:
- As children get older and more socially adept, their peer group becomes more important to their social development than their immediate families.
- Nonetheless, kids may feel lonely and need some additional attention and support from parents during this time.
- Some children and teens may experience particular difficulties with social distancing.
Best Practices for Supporting Children at this Time
The authors of the Healthline.com article asked several child psychologists for advice on how parents could help their children remain happy and well-adjusted during the period of social distancing.
Here are four tips those psychologists recommend:
Give Opportunities for Interactive Play
Even if kids cannot have play dates with their friends, playing board games with their family members can help reduce feelings of isolation.
Give Adolescents and Older Kids a Chance to Get Away from You and their Siblings
It is appropriate for them to get away into their rooms and private spaces. However, one of the psychologists interviewed for the article said that even if they do, parents should remain available to give support if needed.
Respect their Need to Be Online
Doing so helps kids satisfy their need for social interaction. But parents should monitor closely enough to know what their children are doing online.
Encourage Daily Exercise
Doing so will help kids keep their emotional equilibrium and sense of wellbeing.
But Do Expect Some Tension
Remember that it is normal for children to take some of their frustrations out on their parents.
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