When will it be over?! Social isolation, as a result of the pandemic, has evoked feelings of loneliness in many people, especially children, all over the globe.
Children’s perspective of time is different than adults. A child who is 4 years old has spent almost a quarter of her life in isolation. Loneliness in your child can affect long-term mental health, so it’s very important to take action to work through these feelings and feel more connected.
In times like these it’s important to learn some tips on how to beat loneliness during the pandemic.
Adopt a Pet
If you have the budget and space, adopting a pet can be a great way to reduce loneliness. Research shows that hanging out with your pet can make you feel less lonely.
A pet will also give children responsibility and a sense of comfort. They’ll be able to build a non-judgmental and affectionate relationship with their new furry friend.
Taking Fido for a walk will also get kids outside at regular intervals during the day, which is a good break from screen time and online classes.
Encourage Spending Time with Friends
Childhood is a very important time for social development, and many children are missing out on that right now. Hanging out with friends via online chat, games, and video calls is a great way for your child to feel connected and supported.
Without spending quality time with friends, loneliness in your child can evolve into sadness and depression during these times. Extended periods of loneliness in kids can lead to long term effects, too. Over time, children can develop mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
Engage in More Online Social Activities
Feeling connected in the time of Coronavirus is challenging for everyone, especially children. So, it’s important to find meaning and purpose every day. Engaging in online activities with friends or family will help kids stay engaged mentally and keep a routine.
They can video call with grandparents to say hi, or with cousins to engage in parallel play. Some great parallel play activities are building blocks, origami, Legos, or Minecraft.
Parents can help kids connect with classmates for a virtual playdate, get their kids involved in virtual youth groups, or enroll them in pre-school. Anyway, to stay connected and feel engaged is exactly what kids need to combat loneliness in the time of the pandemic.
Get Kids Talking
Opening the door to communication is key to help kids process their feelings and emotions. Kids only see the world from their limited perspective and haven’t had the time to develop coping mechanisms that adults have.
Parents can help children learn to identify their feelings and process those emotions. Parents should validate their child’s emotions, which will give them a feeling of understanding and control.
Loneliness in Your Child During Coronavirus
Combating loneliness in your child during this time may take some extra creativity and time, but it is worth it for the mental health of the children. Let your child know that loneliness is a normal feeling right now and that everyone is experiencing it. Feeling connected to others is key in combating loneliness during the pandemic.
Contact us if you need help reducing feelings of loneliness in your child.