Zoom kindergarten meetings, separation from family, and the anxiety our children experienced can be overcome if parents emphasize playing and socializing this summer.
News broadcasts speak often about the overall anxiety we’ve experienced during Covid and often cite how children have felt the brunt of social restrictions.
Some reports suggest a large percentage of children in our country continue to experience depression despite the drop in Covid cases—a lingering side effect from the pandemic.
The question is—what can responsible parents do to counterbalance what our society has been through? What represents the simplest solution to course correct and provide a more positive experience?
Let them play, wander, and socialize this summer. We have the unique opportunity to illustrate what a normal and fun summer can be given how Covid is not as lethal as it was during 2020. The most responsible thing we can do is to build in as much playtime as we can for our kids and emphasize the importance of social skills when they engage with one another.
And it’s a great time for parents to do the same. Some suggestions about how to go about doing so without driving yourself crazy:
Your Local Clan of Parents: If you can involve several other families, perhaps a half dozen, and schedule routine get-togethers where one family hosts, it spreads out responsibility. Ping other parents to see what their summer plans are to see if they are open to the idea of regular get-togethers.
Parents Working from Home: If Dad is around, involve him. Ask him to readjust his work schedule to accommodate these playdates. If both parents work, juggle your schedules so your children can spend maximum time with their friends.
Social Work: If you see a child who’s socially deficient in one area or another – provide an alternative. It can be as simple as citing the value of sharing, asking them to choose to be nice, or call out how one child in the group is doing something worthy of respect. Covid has done a number on socialization, so praise children who are doing it well so other kids may learn from the experience.
Family members: The more they are around, the better! Our kids need exposure to relatives from all generations. This summer, we’re better prepared, protected, and for relatives who are not vaccinated, hold them accountable by emphasizing how much more time they can spend with your immediate family.
The most important suggestion is to live in the present. Enjoy this window of time where we can celebrate life itself. And if your kid is better adjusted for school, sports, or life ahead of them after a summer of fun, you’ve done right by your kids.
Don’t let pessimistic news reports hold you back—take a proactive role by providing your child with a summer filled with sun, fun, and laughter.
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