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  • The Impact of the Pandemic on Kids’ Social Skills and How to Deal

    If you are also worried about your child adjusting to the new normal, here's what experts say.
    by Natalie Maximets .
The Impact of the Pandemic on Kids’ Social Skills and How to Deal
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Millions of children worldwide have suddenly found themselves in an unprecedented situation: due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools are closed, sports are canceled, and even meetings with friends are prohibited. As a result, many children experience anxiety and fears.

    Anusree Gupta, a Licensed Professional Counselor and an EMDR certified therapist, recommends, above all, openly and patiently discussing various aspects of this crisis with children, paying attention to children’s social skills. After all, depression, increased anxiety, and eating disorders have become more common in children during the pandemic.

    So let’s take a look at the impacts of pandemics on children's mental health and how to deal with them, whether preschooler social skills or teenagers.

    Regression in Social Skills

    Life has become more difficult for most children, and parents should notice signs of a socially awkward child. They don’t have contact with other children, which forms a lack of social skills in children. After all, what a child experiences will be carried over into adulthood. Children grow up through social interaction. Teenagers realize themselves not with their parents but through contact with their friends. And interrupting the process as children grow up and discover their identity can be devastating.

    READ ALSO: 'Pandemic Babies' Mas Mababa Ang Nakuhang Score Sa Developmental Screening Test: Study

    Difficulty Approaching Other Kids

    It’s a fact that pandemics for kids are a difficult time, as they are afraid or too shy to approach other kids. It’s a real problem for most kids to come to another child and start the usual conversation. In most cases, kids are afraid that somebody will judge them or there will be some misunderstanding.

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    Communication skills appear in everyday communication with our kids. Teaching social skills to kids who don’t yet have them during a pandemic is the complete responsibility of the parents.

    Social Anxiety

    “Social anxiety levels and loss of social skills among kids for the last years of the pandemic have risen a lot. Kids still want to communicate and have friends, but at the same time, they have problems with socializing, afraid to interact with other kids”, says Anna Khmara, certified life transformation & relationship coach at CompleteCase.com. As a result, socially awkward examples are kids who feel lonely and depressed.

    A Drop-In Play

    Before pandemic times, kids could easily find new friends in community areas, and playgrounds, while going to parties or taking part in sports activities. But the pandemic brought a drop-in play, so the opportunity to expand the friends’ circle narrowed because of social distancing, creating child socialization problems.

    How to Deal with Kids' Socialization During the Pandemic

    Isolation at home has changed the daily routine, reduced the usual activity level, and deprived the possibility of full-fledged communication and learning.

    So, the current situation (self-isolation) has introduced severe restrictions in this area of ??the child’s life, leading to a lack of communication between the child and peers. So, why are kids having a hard time returning to school? The reasons are above.

    What should parents do?

    Fill your child’s day with exciting events, for example:

    • do morning exercises as a family or some physical activity during the day
    • write a plan for each day, and in the evening, share your impressions of the day;
    • cook meals together, come up with a menu for the day;
    • watch feature films, series, interesting programs together, share images;
    • play board games;
    • set aside time to read books.
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    To Sum Up

    An adult person needs to be understanding and calm about the child’s communication with peers on social networks. It’s easier for teenagers, but younger kids need help (sometimes you can help get on a video call with friends).

    Teenagers should not be prohibited but given time for communication and joint games online with friends;To develop social skills for 1st graders, a video call session with friends 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes can be organized.

    READ ALSO: Experts: Ito Ang Mga Magagandang Naidulot Ng Pandemic Sa Mga Teenagers

    How to help a socially awkward teenager in a situation with limited opportunities Fortunately, we live in the age of the Internet, which means that we have enough options for keeping ourselves and the little ones busy when we are at home.

    You don’t need to watch cartoons and play computer games from morning to night to support emotional development. Do not forget that today there are many educational and entertainment resources for children of all ages for social interaction, and something can be found for any child.

    Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation & relationship coach and a freelance writer with expertise in mindfulness, sustainability, and building healthy relationships. She is a published author focused on the most progressive solutions in the field of Psychology. Natalie is proficient in CBT, REBT, Trauma Recovery, Mindfulness Meditation, Storytelling, and Wilderness Therapy.

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