Helping preschoolers’ development during Covid-19



How parents can help children meet milestones

How parents can help children meet milestones


Preschoolers in particular need social interaction to develop socially and emotionally. The article from Insider.com suggests how to help compensate for those losses in Covid-19 times.

All parents are concerned about what the isolation of Covid is doing to their kids’ development. Even though the Hudson Valley hasn’t technically been on “lockdown” since the summer, children are still not interacting nearly as much as normal. Most concerning are preschoolers, who are in particularly important developmental stages in which progress is dependent on interaction with other kids. Kelly Burch, writing in Insider, gives parents a quick primer on where, exactly, their preschoolers should be on the developmental spectrum, but even more importantly, she offers tips on how to take up the slack produced by a lack of engagement with other little ones.

First off, she talks to psychotherapist Mary Mendez, who lists the categories of preschooler development: individuation, which includes self-control, managing feelings and emotions and learning to co-operate; identity, which includes understanding that the self is different from others, and that different people have different rules, beliefs, and expectations; and self-confidence, which includes having a sense of self-esteem, initiating social interactions and resolving conflicts.

READ MORE: Play dates 2.0

Dr. Mendez says: “As preschoolers develop these skills, they practice with the parents, followed by other immediate family members. As they perfect them, they branch out to practicing these skills with peers and adults outside the family.”

In the absence of peers and adults outside the family, Mendez counsels parents to be vigilant and endeavor to be even more interactive with their young ones. She advises “cooking, playing games, building, doing crafts, and especially pretend play all allow your preschooler the chance to learn about social norms like following directions, sharing, and losing gracefully, even when they're stuck at home. “

Routine is important. As is trying your best to provide as much a sense of security as possible. Don’t downplay any outward expressions of stress. Preschoolers pick up on these cues and can be easily influenced by them.

Luckily, Mendez notes, “Young children are by nature resilient, but the effectiveness of their resiliency and ability to meet developmental milestones are only as good as the parents' capabilities of modeling and setting examples of resiliency and adaptive coping."



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