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How Can Lack of Socialisation Impact the Generation of Kids?

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, children worldwide have been pulled from schools and daycares, forced to isolate themselves from their peers. And now that summer has hit, many day camps have turned to the internet with digital activities to keeps kids entertained. Still, the pandemic brought that to a quick halt, leaving many parents wondering if their children are deprived of an essential developmental step –peer-to-peer interaction.

Integral Part of Growing Up

Socialisation is an integral part of growing up, and young kids crave attention. They learn from their peers. They thrive on interactions that help them grow. So, what happens when a pandemic puts socialisation on the back burner? In short, they adapt – but the long-term impact is still unknown.

Impacts can be Negative

No one truly knows how the COVID-19 pandemic and the lost socialisation opportunities will affect kids, but we can see that the effect will for sure be negative. Young children have less awareness of personal space and boundaries and tend to play and interact very close to others. The threat associated with close interactions among kids may cause some parents to limit all social interactions or show a unique sense of anxiety when interactions happen.

Out of the Box Solutions

Worrying may not be the best use of our time at the moment; instead, parents should focus on improving each day for their children and finding joy in the moments spent together so that the effects of the lack of socialisation can be compensated. Parents should develop solutions to ensure their children interact with their peers, such as setting up zoom play dates or socially distance bike rides. Anything that can help maintain your child's social skills.

Use of Technology

The use of technology, such as video chat and development of appropriate apps, provides some socialisation opportunities for young children; however, there are several limitations. Kids have less experience with technology than elders, especially with video-based communication apps. Therefore, these platforms make it more challenging to pick up on subtle social cues. Kids are often overwhelmed or overstimulated by several people talking at the same time. While it can be fun for kids to see familiar faces on screen, they lack the skills to navigate this new form of social communication fully.

Road to Social Isolation

If kids cannot experience the necessary level of social contact and behaviour, they can experience social isolation. Social relationships are critical to maintaining health, and a lack of them often correlates with feelings of loneliness. Loneliness, in turn, has been linked to higher levels of stress. Schools typically work as a tool that helps children learn how to communicate, make friends, problem-solve, and more. However, with many children staying home and many recreational places shut down, experts say a lack of socialisation with their peers can impact their mental development.

Many kids are turning to things like social media, increased screen time, and online gaming, but if there is any way parents can introduce a different variety that kids would find appealing is another excellent tactic.

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