Although there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the pandemic is still very much present. Many kid’s peer relationships have been neglected due to a lack of face to face quality time. They are not being able to attend school, day care, or spend time with their friends. Peer relationships are so important during a young child’s life. Social interaction helps children learn the important social skills needed.
But how do we maintain peer friendships when it is difficult or uncomfortable to meet face to face? Here are some tips for you!
Survival Tips for Maintaining Your Child’s Peer Friendships
What a blessing FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype have been during this pandemic. These methods are great ways to have “face to face” connections with peers and families. This allows kids to learn how to appropriately communicate while practicing manners and social skills.
Not only is it a great way to talk and catch up with friends, there are many ways to incorporate FaceTime into your young children’s lives. When participating in activities like show and tell, talent shows, scavenger hunts, dress up, or even playing with Legos or dolls – it allows a sense of normalcy to come into your child’s social interactions.
- Online Games
Since the pandemic has started, there have been many multiplayer games that have come out. If you, as parents, feel comfortable monitoring safe and appropriate games, this can be a great way for your children to connect with their peers, while learning positive competitive social skills. Again – FaceTime could be great to incorporate here to add that extra element of communication!
- Group Movies
Young children love watching their favorite movies! Which is why this is another great way to get your children connected with friends. Streaming networks, like Disney+ and Netflix, allow multiple users to utilize their Group Watch feature to watch with family and friends who are not all in the same location. This can be a fun event to get your children connected with their peers over a beloved movie. FaceTime can be incorporated here, yet again! Whether it be during the movie or afterwards, get your kiddos together to discuss their favorite parts.
- Physical Activity
With the summer, and the good weather that comes with it, quickly approaching, you may feel comfortable allowing your children to meet outside with their friends! Getting kids together and moving is going to be great for their mental health and their physical health.
With the world having been shut down for over a year now, it is hard to come to grips with the amount of screen time children have engaged in. The thought process is that the screen time involved with the survival tips provided will act more as a communication platform. It is important that, when peer interaction is not available, family step into that role. Finally, it has been a hard year for everyone, including you as parents! Give yourself some grace and know that you are doing the best you can.