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How to minimize the social impact of remote learning on your kids

remote learning AP
Posted at 5:04 PM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 19:04:32-05

PHOENIX — The concerns for many parents around remote learning and the long-term effects are two-fold: the academic impact and the social impact.

Psychiatrists say it's important, especially at an elementary-age level, to find ways to socialize kids safely while social distancing.

Dr. Andrea Raby, Vice President of Psychiatry for Bayless Integrated Healthcare, says parents should start with making a list of skills to work on at home that would be practiced in a classroom. She suggests emphasizing how to get along with others, practice waiting your turn, and sharing -- all lessons that can be practiced with siblings, parents, or even stuffed animals.

Next, she says to set up virtual hangouts for everything from study groups to playdates. Another idea is to check with your city for virtual events, like library storytime.

"It's not just about one-on-one, which is important to open up to people and forge those relationships, but it's really important as well to work on our socialization skills through group dynamics," said Dr. Raby.

Red flags that indicate your child is struggling with isolation include becoming clingier, regressing to baby behavior, or having anxiety or meltdowns when it's time to go out.

If you notice those kinds of changes in your child, consult with your doctor.