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For children, going to school was not only for them to receive an education but also to interact with their peers socially. Sports, events, and other types of activities that take place during the academic year allow young ones to work on their relationships. However, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has become the norm.

As schools close their doors until there is an effective way to curb the growth of the virus, isolation is becoming a problem. Sure, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Zoom allow your kids to talk to their friends virtually. Even so, the effects of social isolation can have an impact on childhood development.

The effects of isolation on childhood development

You should know that socialization plays a significant role in the development of your child. Your young one will learn how to interact with other people through this activity. According to the Newport Academy, disruption during social development slows down socio-emotional development in your child. Although social distancing is temporary, its effects can add up when children must stay indoors for a long duration.

As a parent, it is essential to know the dangers of social isolation in children, along with how you can take steps to prevent it from becoming a reality. The effects of this problem differ depending on the age group of the child.


children playing together

According to research released in 2015, preschool children who show traits such as helping, cooperating, and sharing with their peers are more likely to be successful. Your child learns how to interact with others in social situations for the first time.

However, if your young one is unable to go to school, he no longer has the chance to build on this skill and make it his foundation. As a result, your kids will find it challenging to develop in areas such as problem-solving, behavioral expectations from their peers, and interacting with their classmates.

Grade School

child participating in a school activity

When your child starts going to grade school, she will start to learn how to be independent. At the same time, she will understand the connection between her actions and the consequences that follow. During this stage, your child will be still fine-tuning her social skills. Due to isolation, your child may never get to experience this process, which can affect her growth.

Teen and Tweens

mother and teenager studying at home and practicing social distancing

If your child is a tween or a teenager, this phase is crucial as his social skills start to mature. As the development of your young one’s brain is still taking place, he needs to interact with his peers.

Due to the virus, there are no events such as graduation, team sports days, and proms taking place. Combined with the fact that school isn’t open, your child must adapt to the new social life, which can be challenging. In most cases, children pick up the skills they need by attending academic events. The lack of these gatherings can cause anxiety and depression. If you don’t address the situation, it can have an ever-lasting effect on your child’s life in the future.

Fortunately, as a parent, you can still take steps to prevent isolation from taking control of your child’s life. You can make the right decisions and provide emotional and mental support during this time of uncertainty.

Helping your child overcome isolation

Don’t worry, social distancing orders might still be in place, but you can still change the dynamics in your household. Keep these three tips in mind, as they will help combat the effects of isolation on childhood development:

Create a routine

parent making plans for child while practicing social distancing

As you didn’t expect COVID-19 to become a pandemic, you didn’t know that the government would enforce stay-at-home orders. At first, your child found it exciting that he doesn’t have to go to school. However, as time goes on, he finds himself in a position where he has nothing to do throughout the day.

You should create a routine so that you can make sure you support your child while remaining connected. Think of this time as the perfect opportunity to establish deeper bonds with all your family members. Asking your child to help while cooking and cleaning the house and eating meals together can help you connect with your young one. Make sure you also include activities such as board games, brainteasers, quizzes, yoga, and meditation to keep the effects of isolation at bay.

Establish a safe space

mother listening to her child

Your children should be able to reach out to you at any time of the day, to discuss their feelings. In other words, you need to establish a safe space, where your young one has the freedom to speak their minds.

Encourage your child to speak about what she feels about the sudden disruption in regular activities. Your little one may be experiencing a wide range of emotions and needs a safe space to vent. Make sure you validate what your child is going through, as it will help during this time of isolation. It will also allow your young one to understand what she is feeling and deal with it healthily.

Keep emotions in check

child taking some time off

At first, you would have been happy that you get to spend time with your children and family members. However, as the lockdown extended, along with the lack of regular activities start to take a toll on everyone’s emotions.

During this time, it is natural for you and your child to feel frustrated. As everyone is in close-quarters, emotions can take over and result in arguments and heated discussions. If anyone is feeling overwhelmed, you should encourage them to take some time off. Make sure you respect the privacy of your child. If he wants alone time, encourage him to go-ahead.

Isolation due to social distancing will introduce new challenges that you have to help your child to overcome. Although the virus is still around, this doesn’t mean that your young one’s learning must stop. Thanks to our efforts to bring our educational programs online, your child can now attend his/her favorite classes on Zoom. Find out how you can contribute to the development of your young one during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Categories: Blog