Throughout the pandemic, one of the main topics on parents’ minds has been how a lack of socialization during COVID can impact their child’s development.
As vaccine rollouts continue and rules and regulations shift, it is time to consider the best ways to reacclimate your child to the changing world.
Have Open Expectations
It is unrealistic to expect everything to go according to plan. As you begin introducing your child to new children, family members and caregivers, it is important to remember that your child may appear unsure about the world around them. Encourage your child to share what they are feeling and support them in this transition.
Be Aware of Stress Signals
Be on the lookout for changes in your child’s disposition and mood and try not to assume what these changes mean. Discovering the best ways to interpret your child’s behaviors will help both you and your child tackle new experiences and challenges outside of the home.
Making the habit early on of asking your child questions will open the door for easier communication. As your child begins socializing again, don’t be afraid to ask questions like “How was your day?” or “Did you make any new friends?” This can help you gain a better understanding of how your child is acclimating in their new environment and how to pinpoint obstacles in social situations.
Familiarize Your Child with New Environments
When entering into a new environment, it is important to familiarize yourself and your child with the resources available in that area. Talk to your child about what to expect and explain what new activities and interactions they can expect from each particular space. When introducing them to a new care facility, a good rule of thumb is to schedule a tour with your child’s caretaker and show them what a day will look like in the new space.
Be Conscious of Your Own Stress
Although as a new parent your focus will often fall solely on your child, it is critical to remain conscious of how these transitions are affecting you and your capacity to provide care. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your partner, family members or your go-to care provider to discuss ways to alleviate your stress and to find assistance in this time of transition.