Helping Kids Cope with Loneliness During a Pandemic
In less than a year, our world has been turned upside down. ‘Quarantine’, ‘lockdown’, and ‘social distancing’ were words very few of us used in our everyday vocabulary. Now, most of our conversations revolve around these topics. While we all can agree that this has been a whirlwind of a year for many of us, we often forget the impact it’s has on our kids. If adults are having a hard time coping with feelings of isolation, loneliness, and boredom, how are our kids coping with these feelings? Let’s look at a few ways you can help your child combat feelings of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talk to Kids About How They Feel
One of the easiest ways to open up a discussion about the impact of isolation during the pandemic is by simply asking your kids how they truly feel about the situation. Some kids may feel angry while others may feel sad, both of which are valid. When talking to your kids about this, it’s important to note that any and all feelings are okay to have. Your child may not even know how to express how they feel, which is normal and understandable for children on the younger side. Having them draw or write down how they feel can be a great way of understanding their emotions toward the subject.
Video Call Family and Friends
Social distancing is a hard obstacle for children to overcome during a pandemic. We usually encourage our kids to go outside and share and play with others to help develop social skills as well as communication skills, but what happens when we’re in a pandemic and are unable to see other kids in person? Luckily, we live in a time where technology plays a vital role in supplementing face-to-face interaction with virtual ones. Have a weekly plan to meet with friends and family over video chat to help kids feel connected when apart. Have relatives read a book over the phone to your child or have a playdate virtually to allow kids to maintain both their social and communication skills.
Spend Time Outdoors, If Possible
According to one expert, children should be getting at least three hours of outdoor activity daily, which doesn’t include organized sports. While this can seem like a lot to fit into your schedule, the article mentions finding creative ways to find additional time in your schedule to get outside. Hanscom suggests squeezing in outdoor time before and after school to get kids more active. “My kids have only a half-hour recess, so as soon as they get home they go outside. Ask yourself if your kids can walk to school, go out before school begins, and after school before they start homework”.
Now that we went over a few ways to help your kids cope with loneliness, it’s time to start implementing them! Comment on the post below and tell us some ways you’re helping your child beat the feeling of loneliness!