Rebuilding Children’s Social Skills During COVID
written by Dr. Liz Matheis, posted on Psychology Today
Since the beginning of our pandemic, we have become more socially isolated.
At first, there was an immense relief for children with social anxietybecause they were not allowed to get together in groups, and staying away from others became the norm.
However, as social creatures, social isolation has resulted in a backward slide on social skills. Children have been instructed to stay away from their peers and to maintain physical distance.
They wear masks to school, which takes away facial expressions inherent to daily interactions. Sarcasm or humor is often lost, especially when they can’t see a person’s lips move while speaking. People sound like they’re mumbling most of the time and a joke can be lost when it has to be repeated.
The idea of having to re-build children’s social skills became abundantly evident when I was having a conversation with my 15-year-old son who shared that he and his friends are re-learning how to interact with groups. He is re-learning how to interact at a birthday party, how to make small talk, start a conversation, end a conversation, initiate plans, and incorporate different groups.