One of the hardest things as a parent during this COVID-19 quarantine is seeing my kids isolated from their friends and peers. No school is only fun for so long, but when you can’t even hang out with your friends – it’s heartbreaking. Technology is a saving grace to many kids who use it to stay social throughout this quarantine. But what about the kids who don’t have social media?
In a past article, I wrote about the dangers of social media and how I decided my family would not be joining the popular band wagon. I’ll admit that with social distancing, it’s tempting to give in. But I decided to get smarter and find ways my quarantined kids can stay social without giving in to social media.
ALMOST IN-PERSON MEALS
Pile in your car and get some take-out. Meet your friends in a parking lot, roll down all your windows, and chat while you eat. Some fresh air and actual face-to-face interaction will go a long way.
This one is geared toward younger kids and has been a lifesaver at my house. My younger boys build Legos, play games, and just sit and talk to their friends all through a screen. Hearing them laugh and seeing them smile with their friends makes my mama heart incredibly happy!
Introduce your kids to the old fashioned practice of pen pals. Do they have a cousin that lives in another state or country? Perhaps you have an old friend with kids your kids have never met. They don’t even need to be the same age. They can email or send hand-written letters about their lives and maybe even make a new friend.
Speaking of hand-written letters, sending some snail mail is another great way for your kids to stay social. They could write to grandparents, cousins, and friends from school. Plus, the anticipation of receiving replies will give them something to look forward to every day.
Hiking and walking is fine, as long as you keep a 6-foot distance from those around you. Getting some fresh air is crucial during this quarantine. Walk around your neighborhood and give a wave and smile to everyone you see.
“GO” TO THE MOVIES TOGETHER
There’s a variety of ways to make this work. Agree on something to watch with your friends, and FaceTime or text throughout the movie. Another way is to get the Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix with other people by using your own personal invite link. Pop some popcorn and you’re all set!
MAKE FUTURE PLANS
Living in quarantine can be hard. Sometimes it seems like it will never end, but it will. It’s important to remember that this is all temporary and good times are ahead. Call, text, or video chat with your friends and make ALL the plans – even plans you have no intention of actually doing. Dream big!
If you’re like me and you don’t want your kids to get social media yet, just remember these times are only temporary. There are so many apps, websites, and ways for our kids to be social during this difficult time. Get creative and remember that we are all in this together!
This post was originally published on Becky Squire.