By Jenna Srigley
Social interactions with others are an important part of growing up. It’s a big part of the school day. Schools teach children many social skills such as: how to share, show empathy, be polite, cooperate and communicate together. As we grow up, we as humans crave social relationships with others. We need that social aspect throughout the different stages of our lives as we grow. These past few weeks have been a grieving process. We miss our social interactions as adults and so do our children.
I noticed a shift in my kids’ behavior after just a few days of not getting together with their friends. They were very upset, frustrated and didn’t really understand why they couldn’t see their friends. We had a long discussion as a family where we explained the current public health situation and the reasons why they need to stay at home. My husband and I listened to their concerns too. We realized how important it was for their mental well beings that we focus on maintaining their social relationships just as much as their academics. As a result, we made some adjustments to our daily schedules and house rules. We have extended the time allowed for gaming, phone calls and texting in the evenings. We have still designated the mornings for academics and the early afternoons for exercise but after that we’ve been pretty flexible with how they spend their evenings with their friends virtually.
Since being more lenient with these rules, our kids seem to be having a bit of an easier time dealing with this stressful situation. Though every family is different so the changes we made to our routines might not be best for yours. My kids are a bit older so they were able to express their concerns and needs to us and these were the changes we decided on together. How are you maintaining your child’s social relationships while staying at home? Share with us in the comments.
Julie Diamond is a certified teacher in Canada and the founder of Teachers to Go.
Julie Diamond speaking at the OISE conference for Alternative, Innovative and Inspiring Career Paths for Teachers at the University of Toronto.
Jenna Srigley is the administrative assistant/social media co-ordinator at Teachers to Go and offers invaluable insight as a mom of 2 teens.
Fun Fact: Her and Julie (see above) are also sisters :)