It seems like a lifetime ago, but just at the beginning of the year, kids were going to school or preschool, attending daycare, and participating in plenty of social opportunities with their peers. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a major wrench in these plans, leaving many children at home or in smaller settings where they may not have as much interaction with kids as they’d like. As professional childcare staffers in the northeast, we’ve witnessed many children struggling with social skills they used to have. Check out these insider tips on using childcare to maintain and develop social skills, even when socialization isn’t possible!
Build Emotional Strength
Adults and children alike are struggling through this pandemic. But managing emotions and staying strong is something that will benefit your child throughout her life! When you hire a high-quality childcare professional, you get more than just a babysitter.Ž You will get someone who is experienced at working with children in the hardest of times. Some activities your nanny may do could include talking about feelings, sharing stories, and serving as a trusted person for your child to talk to. Practicing everyday coping skills, like taking deep breaths or counting to 10, can set your child up for success when she gets to play with her friends again.
Learn a New Skill
For very young children, every new skill is an invitation to play more! While your child may be stuck at home, a skilled childcare provider will make sure his brain stays active with new skills. When he goes back to daycare, he can show off his ability to tie his shoes, build new construction, draw a favorite animal, or anything else. Effective childcare providers help kids build competency so they feel proud and capable.
Communication crosses all ages, and can improve at any age! Whether you hire a nanny who helps your baby speak her first words or someone who helps your toddler expand his vocabulary, your child will benefit from more adult interaction and conversation. For older children, the focus is less on the words and more on the meaning. Nannies working with older children may explore word puzzles, invite the child to debate about interesting topics, or just help a child manage boundaries and limitations. Communicating effectively will set your child up for success in relationships with peers and adults.
There is no substitute for the spontaneous, self-regulated interactions of children at play, but while your child is staying safe and keeping distant from others, make sure he or she has a wonderful, trusted adult to keep building skills with. The Right Start has been providing one-to-one, in-home childcare services throughout the pandemic, matching nannies with families for a great relationship. Call today to see how we can help you work from home while helping your child to develop much-needed skills.