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Help your children develop empathy and social skills during isolation

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Months of social distancing and isolation due to the pandemic may have taken its toll on children and adults alike, since after all, we are social beings.

 

Parents and teachers can foster the development of empathy and social skills within children even in times of isolation. Here are some tips to help your child in their development of these important skills:
 

  • Ask your child how they are feeling throughout the day and encourage them to ask you as well. Respond with appropriate actions. For example, if they are feeling frustrated, offer them a calming strategy, count to 10 slowly, or do some jumping jacks.
  • When watching a movie or reading a book together, ask your child how they think one of the characters feel and together, talk about why they may be feeling that way.
  • Encourage your child to get involved in social activities with you, siblings, or other family members. Play a board game, plant a garden, or cook a meal together.
  • Model good conversation skills in which you take turns asking questions and responding. Show your child how to ask others how they are doing, rather than simply maintaining one-sided conversations in which they only answer questions posed by others.
  • Support your child’s efforts to maintain their friendships by helping them set up Zoom chats or play dates if they are younger. If your child can write, encourage them to write longer letters or emails to friends and family to keep in touch.

 

Sources:

https://theconversation.com/3-ways-to-promote-social-skills-in-homebound-kids-143410
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/parenting/kids-social-needs-quarantine.html

 

 

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