How are your kids staying connected with their friends as the world faces this pandemic? March 13 is the day that everything seemed to come to a standstill. Kids left school without realizing they would not return for the rest of the school. There was no see you later to friends, no exchange of contact information, etc.
Remaining connected with others is important. Being connected with friends can make or break a child’s day.
Here are some ways your kids can stay connected with their friends.
For Tweens & Teens:
- If your child has a cell phone, allow them a little extra phone time. I know! I know! We have phone curfews in place, but we’ve relaxed them a bit. Facetime, actual calls, and texts have been the kids’ primary connection with their friends. Give them that little time to stay connected.
- Have a small yard gathering. Keeping the rules of social distancing in mind, allow a neighbor friend to come over and let the kids sit outside. Key…STAY OUTSIDE and place the chairs or instruct them to stand about 9 to 12 ft apart. I say 9 to 12 because we know as they chat, they will move toward one another or jumping up laughing.
- Host a virtual party. Plan a virtual theme party. Make it like a real party. Decide on a theme – keep it simple. Send out invites and tell all the kids to bring their favorite snacks. You can use Zoom or Google Meet. Both have a FREE option – 40 FREE minutes. Some time is better than none.
For younger kids:
- Phone calls or Facetime. Your younger child may not have their own phone, but you can set up a time for them to use your phone to chat with a friend. If they have a friend in their class that they want to talk to, send an email to the teacher to see if they can connect you with that child’s parent, and exchange contact information.
- PenPal. Yes! A good ole handwritten letter. They can write a letter or draw pictures to send to friends.
- Driveway Talk. Social distancing younger kids may be a little more difficult than with the other kids. Younger kids will be ready to play, and social distancing is thrown out the window. However, you could arrange to drive to a friend’s house. Sit in the car, while the other family stands outside. Allow the kids to chat or wave as you pass by. I vote for a little bit of chatter.
These are just a few suggestions to keep kids connected with their friends. Being connected with others is so important during this time. Our kids need an outlet just like we do, and many kids find that outlet within their friend group.
Their worlds have been flipped upside.
They are trying to figure things out.
They are trying to navigate.
They need and want to stay connected with friends.
So no matter how you help your kids stay connected with their friends, remember to stay safe and protect yourself and others while doing so.