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How to keep kids social during the coronavirus pandemic

Social distancing will likely be apart of our lives for awhile.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Kids’ emotional and mental health can be impacted by being conditioned to not go near people, not to interact, and not to go into groups. This is an interesting observation by Jeff Kinney, author of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series, in an interview on CBS This Morning.

You, as their parent, can do daily checks with their kids to make sure that they’re doing okay. You can watch their behaviors for any changes. 

This is why knowing your child’s baseline behavior is important because noticing behavior changes is easier. There’s a difference in being home vs interacting with your kids. 

Spend quality time with your child such as reading books, talking, relaxing on the couch together, playing board games, creating arts and crafts.

As a parent, you can help keep your kids’ social skills strong. Reading faces and subtle movements are harder when at a distance and with masks. 

When you watch shows, identify facial expressions that signal different feelings such as happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear. Also, identify emotions in yourself and in your children. Describe what you see. 

For example, “Honey, I see you twisting your lips and your eyes glaring, it looks like your feeling angry. Tell me what’s on your mind.”

As I talked about in the last segment, kids learn valuable skills such as cooperating with others, competing, and dealing with frustration and disappointment. 

Find other opportunities around the house and with the family to exercise those skills, particularly with siblings. Also, when you watch shows or sports, point out what cooperating, competing, handling strong emotions and compromising. Find teachable moments.

Share your thoughts on my Facebook page: Blanca Cobb – Body Language Expert. Write a message on my timeline and I’ll get back to you. While you’re on my page, I’d appreciate it if you give it a “like”.