The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many challenges – one of them being that we now live in a socially distant world.
For the better part of a year now, kids have been limited in their ability to socialize due to schools being closed and social activities being shut down, if not severely limited. This is to stop the spread of the virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
While it is important to remind our children why we must adhere to local health guidelines and regulations, it is also important to understand that their world changed in an instant. Friends they were used to seeing daily, are but a mere face on a screen. And much like a muscle that atrophies inside a cast, when socialization is not practiced, it too needs to be strengthened so it will work properly when the time comes.
To help strengthen that muscle, here are some tips on how to socialize your kids in a socially distant world.
1. Have Daily Conversations with your Kids
Conversation is an important part of socialization because it encourages the use of language. It might also be a good idea to talk about how they are feeling during this challenging time. Talk with your child daily, if not several times daily. Who knows? You also might find that you get to know each other better. You may even become friends.
2. Encourage Productive Social Media Usage
Social media at its core is a place for people to be social. It is a place to express feelings and have conversations, and when used to achieve a positive social result, it is a fantastic tool!
Encourage your teens who are on social media to use it to converse with friends and family members who do not live with you. Teach them how to make social media a productive tool and not one that sucks the energy out of you (because it can do that, too).
3. Encourage Your Kids to Read
Books have language and dialogue, which means they are a great place to learn how to use words in conversational settings. Encourage your kids to read books so they can learn language! Who knows? Once the regulations are lifted, your child may emerge with a bright vocabulary and the confidence to match!
4. Get Out When You Are Able
While outings are limited, it is important to get out and see people (even while masked and at a distance). If you need to go to the store or for a walk, take your child with you so they can see people and remember what it’s like to be out in the world. We may be living during a challenging time in history, but we are living in historic times that we will tell stories about for years to come.