How can parents help their children learn social skills after the pandemic?

In the past, children enjoyed two months of summer vacation before returning to school. But that hasn’t been the case for a while. Everyone’s life has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

But the children have been particularly affected as they return to school after almost two years without participating in classes where they are physically present.

HOW CHILDREN’S SOCIAL SKILLS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED DURING THE PANDEMIC

In addition to disruptions at school, many families have chosen to avoid enrolling their children in extracurricular activities over the past two years, including play dates, birthday parties, playtimes , etc.

Unfortunately, this had an effect on the children’s social skills. They are used to the new normal and accept minimal physical contact. But as schools resume, facilitating children’s social engagement is crucial.

Many parents have noticed how difficult it is to explain to their children why they are not seeing their friends, not going to school, not visiting parks and other recreational facilities, etc. These children had no idea why so many changes were being made.

So being told what they should do left them quite confused. Younger children have surely experienced enormous anxiety anguish because of this uncertainty.

Children also rely on play and social interaction, especially to communicate. For children, play is a kind of language. As a result, the children were less likely to interact socially and mature.

Due to their inability to practice socialization, many children have regressed in their social fluency, which puts them at risk for developmental delays. As a result, communication skills have also regressed in our children.

Here are some things parents can do to develop their children’s social skills:

1. INSURANCE

As parents, you should try to understand their situation and have conversations about how it’s a good idea to go back to school.

You could also reassure them that you are there for them during this difficult adjustment and that you will support them.

2. SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

Encourage your children to engage in social interactions before the start of the school year. Play dates can be arranged with your child’s classmates.

Plus, you can schedule a few fun daily activities or enroll them in any outdoor group activity. When they return to school, they will feel more connected and more confident.

3. RECOGNIZE CUES

Parents should educate their children on appropriate ways to express their desires and feelings.

You can help them understand verbal and non-verbal cues and remind them of how children their age interact socially.

4. COMMUNICATE

Talk to your child and let him know that school is about to start. Gradually resume the school routine one week before the start of classes.

You can also decide on a curfew, a regular bedtime, and an early wake-up time.

5. ASK FOR HELP

It would be a good idea to let the school know ahead of time if your child is experiencing such high levels of anxiety that you think it might be difficult for them to return to school.

You can seek help from school staff in such a situation or also consult your trusted pediatrician, who will guide you to the right counselor.

– Article by Pankaj Kumar Singh, MD, Cambridge Montessori Preschool and Daycare Private Limited

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