Social repercussions of the pandemic on children

Going back to my child development roots for this, the first in a series on the repercussions of the pandemic on children…

In future weeks we discuss emotional, mental, and physical health, so stay tuned!

If you’ve got any friends who might find the series relevant, you can invite them to sign up for these free weekly newsletters at the following link: https://weturnedoutokay.com/weekly

I would feel so honored if you shared. Because it means that not only are you getting a lot out of what I teach, but you know that someone else will too. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart <3

I want to kick off this series by talking about something that’s on everyone’s minds these days:
Children’s social development.

What’s the pandemic doing to children, socially?

How is it impacting their development?At home, a child’s social circle has completely changed.
In a physical sense, the social partners a child has right now are often limited to the people they live with, or at most expanded to a bubble that includes perhaps one other trusted family, or a grandparent or two.

Kids might have siblings, and if so, they are often a child’s only playmates outside of the virtual world right now.

And after a year, that can feel downright scary.

We can worry about the damage that these circumstances have caused, are causing, and may continue to cause.

I know I’ve worried about these things, and I bet you have too. Huge hugs if that is the case!

For most children, school has completely changed as well.

Perhaps it’s hybrid; perhaps it’s completely virtual.

Even if it’s totally in-person – or if it becomes that in the near future – it doesn’t feel like school in a lot of very important ways.

I’ve heard from parents whose kids don’t want to go to physical school because of the limitations.
No hugging or being near friends.
No playing on equipment, even when outdoors.
Sometimes kids aren’t even allowed to speak at lunch, for fear of transferring the virus (which has been shown to transfer quite easily in a situation where people are eating, drinking, or socializing without a mask.) Here is a fantastic Education Week story about this exact challenge.
The most important thing to remember: even in all the apocalyptic weirdness, we CAN cultivate positivity and goodness.

Recently I read of a child whose Grandma is her zoom companion all day while the girl’s mom works from home.

The girl is physically safe, at home with a responsible adult.

She’s socially stimulated, with Grandma there to enjoy lunch, talk with her as she paints or draws, ask questions of and connect with.

One of my one-to-one coaching clients has an agreement with her 10-year-old daughter: as long as she is physically reporting in for virtual schooling she can do it with the camera off. As a result this 10-year-old is able to learn while crafting dollhouses out of Styrofoam!
(You can hear this mom, Regan, tell her story in the following episode of the We Turned Out Okay Podcast: https://weturnedoutokay.com/357.)

These are just a few examples of ways that parents are getting social stimulation for their children, despite the obstacles.

We’ve been cooking together more here in our home.

Both of my children have now beaten me very soundly at chess, multiple times. They are so much better at chess than me!

Occasionally we get takeout as a family and go to our favorite park nearby to share our meal in the car, and then go for a walk.

What might you be able to do in your home?

One thing that works really well for me: paying attention to what I want to see in the world, rather than what I do not want to see.

How might that look, in your home and in your family?

There have been huge changes in our lives, and our children’s lives, when we think about socialization.

But changes don’t necessarily need to mean horrific damage or setbacks. My inspirational calendar has a great saying (which I must paraphrase here because I can’t remember it exactly)… “Often the most difficult roads lead to the most beautiful destinations.”

I hope that, for you and your family, today’s letter has given you an inspiration, an idea to change and/or work toward. Or even just the knowledge that you are not alone.

You’re on the right track.

Let me know what I can do to help!

Cheers –
Karen
PS What’s the pandemic doing to my child? A 5-Week Masterclass…

“What is the pandemic doing to my child?” is a question I get asked all the time.

As a child development expert, not only do I know the answer to that. I also know what to do about it.

This five-week program begins Wednesday, May 12 and addresses the concerns parents have about their children’s development during the pandemic.

We’ll cover:
– The toll that long-term confinement and sequestration from others can cause
– Strategies to handle this long-term confinement and limit the negative impacts
– How to create a home environment that supports your child’s social and emotional development
– Dealing with reentry including handling anxiety, bullies, and other social concerns

All along we’ll be diving into your specific questions and issues.
To make absolutely sure that you have a plan going forward we’ll spend our last class time together in a Q&A, so you can have all your concerns addressed and questions answered.

If that sounds good to you, I’m offering a special earlybird price…

The complete 5-week Masterclass is $79.00 when you sign up by April 8, 2021

Also included: a Masterclass Accelerator Call for participants on Wednesday, April 21, 2021
so I can be sure I’m addressing your concerns and giving you all the support possible.

To enroll or read more about the class – and what we will be specifically addressing each week – click the following link:
https://weturnedoutokay.com/pandemicclass/