It’s been over a year since we’ve been able to safely attend social gatherings and community events. It’s been hard for adults, and often more difficult for young children who have been unable to attend school, partake in playdates, or go on family outings — important elements to a child’s social and behavioral development.
There is, however, a light at the end of this quarantine tunnel. As adults continue to get vaccinated, many places that were forced to shutter are beginning to re-open; many community events that had to cancel last year are moving forward with modified plans for 2021.
We aren’t out of it yet, and it might be quite a while before we are 100% back to “normal,” but there are many things to look forward to, and many opportunities to re-socialize your children. Many might be joyful about the prospect of increased social opportunities, but it is important to continue to exercise caution — keep safe distances, wear masks, and wash hands and surfaces regularly.
Check-in with your local library
In addition to being a great community resource, many local libraries host or coordinate children-friendly events such as storytime, cooking classes, scavenger hunts and more.
Parks and recreation
Participating in recreational sports at a young age has been shown to benefit children (and parents) in many ways. In addition to promoting exercise, it also helps to develop teamwork, discipline, and serves as a terrific way for kids to socialize with peers outside of the classroom. If your child is not interested in team sports, most parks and recreation departments offer a wide range of engaging activities — from hiking and nature walks to yoga and arts and crafts.
A day at the beach
What’s better than a day at the beach? You’ve got the sun, snacks, water, and activities — and most of them will be open for Summer 2021. Plan ahead and check the State of Connecticut website for waterfront updates to make sure your favorite beach is ready for you and your family to take a dip.
While getting back to normal summer activities may be exciting to some, it is important to recognize that after a year of isolation, many children may be feeling stress and anxiety over leaving the house, interacting with strangers, and socializing with other children. It may be necessary to ease your child back into these activities, giving them some time to readjust.
If your child is struggling to readjust, is demonstrating behavioral challenges, or is generally feeling anxious, upset, or nervous about social interactions, it may be a good idea for you to talk to a professional. Perceptions Programs Inc. offers individual, group, or family therapy, and our child and adolescent program includes individual therapy, play therapy, and medication management. Call 860-420-2450 today to make an appointment.