Is The Development Of Social Skills Possible When You’re All Stuck Inside? — CHILDPROOF PARENTING



Make the most of social activities

We’re all struggling on the energy front right now, with the news and our current lifestyles both taking their toll in equal measure. But, for the sake of your kids, you must embark on social activities rather than solo pursuits throughout the day. 

As much as this might seem like a mountain you don’t have the strength to climb, group activities like baking, playing games, or even just heading out for a (safely distanced) walk together can work wonders for ongoing social development. Not to mention that, for you, getting out of your head like this could really breakthrough that lockdown fog. 

Games are especially beneficial here because, in many instances, they teach social skills in and of themselves, making this and the group work inherent in play a double whammy of social benefits. For instance, a game like Who’s Who or Cluedo requires critical thinking that gets those social synapses firing by putting your kid’s to work understanding character and body language. Equally, team games are fantastic on the social front, with everything from Pictionary through to Trivial Pursuit opening the doors for teamwork that encourages sharing, communication, and collaborative thinking.

As much as solo work likely also features in your homeschooling efforts, it’s certainly worth implementing one or two of these more socially focused activities every day. Even if that means simply reading a book together, you’re still helping your kids to learn something about the conversation. And, let’s be honest; at this late stage in the pandemic, none of us are going to dismiss a game that we can play for genuine educational benefit!

Always use the options on the table

Lastly, it’s vital to make the most of any possible social opportunities on the table right now. In large part, these are going to vary a fair amount depending on where you live, with some areas allowing limited households to mix, while others allow for socially distanced walks between a certain amount of people. Either way, do your research into the level of social interaction that you’re allowed and make the most of that in whatever way you’re comfortable. 

While you obviously want to keep on top with social distancing, etc. a simple walk out with friends who also have kids can make a huge difference on the social front, encouraging your kids into all-important chats with others outside of your household. Even if you aren’t comfortable or allowed to walk out with others, making the most of at least once-weekly Zoom chats with your kid’s school friends and their parents can also make a huge difference here. 

Distanced or through-the-screen chats might not be as good as a daily face-to-face on the playground but, right now, we have to take our kid’s social opportunities where we can find them. By keeping up chats like these for the remaining time that we spend facing restrictions, you should certainly find that your youngsters are better prepared to return to social classroom environments when the time comes, sometimes with even better developed social skills than they had when they first left them. 

Life right now is undeniably tough but, by continuing to prioritize social skills in a world where kids have largely been programmed to dread interactions, you arm them with the skills that they need to bounce back as though none of this ever happened. And, that’s a goal we should be working towards.

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