Concerned About Your Child’s Social Skills Post The Pandemic-Related Lockdown?
Parents are rightfully concerned about their children and how they will react to extended social distancing requirements. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced children away from playgrounds, schools, day care centres, and almost every form of with their peers. Children need social interaction and collaboration with peers to thrive so three or four months of isolation can take its toll.
Children Are Resilient
Millions of parents have voiced their concern over the impact of social distancing on a child’s mental, physical, and social development. However, almost all child psychologist and experts agree that children will adapt. Children are more resilient than adults realise. They can adjust to different life challenges well as long as their core support structure remains intact.
This means if parents foster a loving, safe, and comfortable environment at home, children will continue to develop naturally. While you may see some adverse reactions like shyness, temper tantrums, and clinginess, these behavioural issues will eventually fade away.
Creating a comfortable environment at home isn’t very challenging. You don’t need to keep an eye on children or keep them engaged 24/7. It is possible to balance work-from-home, household chores, and children if you have the right approach. Social skills can be taught at home, and children won’t just forget what they have learned in school or through peer interactions before.
It may take your child some time to adjust when they get back to school, but they will bounce back in a matter of days. If children experience severe behavioural issues, and can’t seem to adjust, consider speaking with a healthcare professional. They will help you identify triggers and develop coping mechanisms.
Encourage Sharing with Siblings
Children are naturally selfish and reluctant to share. Interacting with peers helps them understand how to share toys, art supplies, and even adult attention with others. It is easy to teach this valuable life skill to your child if they have siblings. Make sure they share everything from parental attention to favourite snacks. Many parents prioritise younger siblings over older ones, which can be detrimental to their development.
Try setting the same standards for all children as much as possible, keeping their age and level of understanding in mind. That will help children develop a sense of justice and fair play. For example, if there’s one piece of cake left, encourage the child to share the piece with their older or younger sibling instead of saving it for themselves.
If your child doesn’t have siblings, encourage them to share with you and your spouse or partner. This introduces the idea that even adults must be treated fairly and should get their equal share of delicious treats.
Children learn this lesson better in peer groups because family members will compromise or give the child more leeway as a sign of affection. For example, you can expect the child’s brother to hand over the last piece of candy, but you can’t expect the same from a classmate. Introducing that level of fairness into the family dynamic will only help in the long run.
Help Them Learn How to Wait Their Turn
Most children favour temporary satisfaction over delayed fulfilment. They dislike waiting for their turn and will protest when they are denied. However, everyone needs to know how to be patient and wait for their turn. There are many ways you can teach your child this lesson at home.
For example, every member of the family should get a chance to pick the entertainment for the evening. If your son wants to watch a Marvel movie, but your daughter wants to play the latest Animal Crossing game on television, consider who has wanted longer before making a choice. This teaches children how to wait for their turn and allow others to have their share of attention.
Stay Connected Through Digital Communications
Children will need some socialisation even if they start attending childcare. Stay connected with an extensive network of friends and relatives through video communication programs. This gives your child some face-to-face interaction, so you don’t need to worry about them feeling isolated.
Socialising in different circumstances can help children develop their communication skills. For example, children can learn how to write letters, which parents can then turn into emails for relatives staying in different cities or countries. Introducing new ways of communication will only help children in the long run, allowing them to handle different kinds of situations like communicating with educators through email.
Let Them Talk to Neighbours
Children can benefit from exposure to different age groups. You can encourage them to converse with trusted neighbours through a fence and while maintaining social distance. For example, if your neighbour’s daughter goes to college, encourage your first grader to interact with her and ask questions about her college experiences.
Exposure to different kinds of individuals can help a child develop social and conversational skills. They will learn new things, develop new interests, and understand how to make friends with different personalities. While interacting with their peer group is essential, children can also benefit from a few outside perspectives. They will feel more confident and develop a unique personality. As long as you keep an eye out for negative influences, interacting with neighbours can be a great way to overcome isolation.
Deepen Family Bonds
Modern families can be quite disconnected. Parents work long hours; siblings have their own social life and education commitments, extended family only communicate once every few weeks. The pandemic has removed most distractions, allowing family members to focus and rely on each other.
Use this opportunity to teach children about bonds between different family members. Talk with them, share experiences, get into debates, and explore ideas. Children can be surprisingly adept at conversation, especially if parents encourage it from an early age. You see videos of toddlers having entertaining discussions with their parents online. While the subject matter may be frivolous, the activity itself can help your child develop socially and mentally.
Children can sense whether they are in a calm and stable environment. Experts all over the world agree that overly anxious parents and an unreasonably protective environment can add to the child’s stress. Worry about your child’s development can translate to stress, which can then create a hostile environment at home. Instead of being anxious, play and interact with your child as often as possible and let them spend some time independently. Children will continue to learn essential life lessons like the value of friends, importance of school and education, the importance of different family relationships, and know how to adjust to stressful situations.
All you need to do is take appropriate precautions like wearing a mask, washing hands, maintaining distance, and keeping track of symptoms. Your child will be safe if you’re careful, even if you send them to childcare.
Clovel observes all of the precautions required by the authorities to keep the spread in control. As an established childcare centre, they also facilitate safe social interaction, playtime, and learning. These centres provide a safe and controlled environment for social interaction. Children are in small groups with a dedicated adult supervising them. They get to interact with peers, learn new things, and enjoy a change of pace from an at-home environment.
We at Clovel Childcare and Early Learning Centre, provide a very nurturing environment for children to learn and grow. For any information about our Educational Programs, give us a call at 02 9199 0294 or fill in this contact us form.
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