The past year and a half of isolation, shut-downs and quarantines have been difficult for us all, but for our kids, the isolation has been especially difficult.
I recently spoke with Drs. David and Donna Lane on my podcast about children, Covid, and how isolation has impacted them. David and Donna are professional counselors who specialize in grief, loss and trauma.
If you’re wondering why your child is acting out, seems depressed, or has been especially anxious, David and Donna point to the importance of socializing for young children and teens.
“It’s almost a physical need,” says David, who compared children’s playtime with others as equivalent to the physical needs of hunger and thirst.
Interaction with other children teaches kids how to be adults—how to share, negotiate, and get along with others. Interaction with peers for teens is largely how they form their identities and understand their place in the world.
Without these interactions, kids have greatly suffered emotionally and even though they’re back in school, they are probably still experiencing the loss of the last year and half without their friends, school and communities.
Donna says Covid has created a “nasty soup” in the home—a perfect storm of not only kids being isolated but also being stuck at home with their parents who are stressed about being isolated with their kids. The stress and anxiety compound and everyone’s emotional health suffers.
Fortunately, you are not powerless over your child’s emotional health or your own. For your child, David and Donna suggest two remedies: