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By Rachel Buchholz, KIDS AND FAMILY Editor in Chief
Remember four weeks ago? We still ate at restaurants … just with a little space between us and our fellow diners. Kids still competed in sports … they just bumped elbows instead of shaking hands after the game. And trips to the playground—where kids played with friends, and parents hung out with neighbors—were perfectly fine … as long as we washed our hands afterward.
Well. Throw that playbook out the window.
The warnings about why we need to be taking social distancing seriously are starting to sink in for most people, and I’ve certainly noticed marked differences from just last week. Neighbors “chat” from six feet away. Walkers heading toward each other hug their side of the sidewalk, or even move into the empty streets. And parents have no embarrassment of yanking kids out of the way of passersby.
But now that we’re treating each other like zombies, how do we make sure that children don’t turn into ones as well? Maintaining relationships is super important for children, says Melissa Brymer of the UCLA / Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. “It supports their social emotional development and strengthens their social emotional skills,” she tells Nat Geo in an article about creative ways to keep kids connected.
It’s something more families are thinking about, especially through spring celebrations like Passover, Easter, and Ramadan. Nat Geo readers have engaged in video conferencing ordinary dinners as well as holiday get-togethers. Birthday cakes from afar. Even family games.
If true social distancing soon becomes the norm for everyone, just for a bit, maybe by this time next year we can celebrate our spring holidays surrounded by multitudes of friends and family—face to face.
What kinds of fun activities are you doing with your children to keep them connected? We want to hear from you!