As families across the world get accustomed to remote working and schooling, the effect of social distancing on children is uncertain. Parents around the world are sharing how their children are adjusting to this new change in their lives, and it seems to follow the same trend. Take a look at what some parents have observed:
My kid misses his friends. On the zoom call he didn’t wanna hang up until all his friends did first. Problem is? They were all doing the same thing, just looking at each other. A bunch of 4/5 yr olds just sad. 🥺🥺🥺
— Your baby momma’s “lil friend” (@tbeanie97) April 16, 2020
My almost 2 years old sat down a full 20 minute on a Zoom with her daycare buddies and teachers just saying “Hi”. The babies miss their friends!
— Joi (@joi2be) April 16, 2020
My kid and his classmates stayed in the zoom chat almost 20 mins after I heard the teacher say goodbye
— Soapcultery & Niggatry (@ArnicaxRoss) April 16, 2020
Separation anxiety affects children, even through virtual connections:
My son cries at the end of all the virtual play dates . As soon as he wakes up in the morning he asks if we are going to call his friends
— Juliette (@Makimoments) April 17, 2020
My 5 year old cried hysterically when her buddy signed off on Tuesday. “NO NO don’t go, PLEASE!”
— Breon Randon (@breeoxd) April 17, 2020
My 3 yr old hugs the computer when it’s time to hang up.
— RI Dixon (@TheFakeRiRi) April 17, 2020
One parent puts it into perspective:
☹️ it sucks for us grown ups but I remember being a kid and I can only imagine how tough it would have been being told I couldn’t see my friends.
For everyone’s sake I hope they find this vaccine.
— 💧Carly Starr (@Carly_Solstice) April 17, 2020
These observations bring up an important conversation about how our children will develop their behavioral and social skills during this unprecedented time. Toddlerhood is the most physically aggressive stage and marks the start of their ability to create peer relationships. At around the age of 5, they start developing close friendships that help children embody strong self-esteem and cultivate better relationships overall. Hindering this kind of development has scientifically been proven to lead to low self-esteem and poor mental health.
Is social distancing traumatizing our children? Only time can tell, but there are ways to combat the negative effects of isolation in children. Genuinely engaging with your children, encouraging them to be physically active outside, and continuing to cultivate their friendships over virtual means can ease the anxieties your child may be feeling. Read our blog post called “How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus” to see how to appropriately discuss this pandemic with your child. As long as children are continued to be supported, heard, and empathized with, you can continue to improve their developmental health.