NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More parents are bringing their young children outside as coronavirus restrictions are slowly lifted.
CBS2’s Cindy Hsu explains how parents can go about socializing their kids who may be uncomfortable around other people after being cooped up for months.
Jenny Chamoun’s 20-month-old daughter, Matilda, is used to being around lots of family, but getting out again was hard after two months at home.
“Noises scared her, people scared her and it really broke my heart to see that,” said Chamoun. “I think it was largely because she was indoors and the only interaction she ever had was myself and my husband.”
Matilda is too young to wear a face covering, and she now takes classes that help her get used to seeing people again while being socially distant.
Experts say kids may experience separation anxiety and stress about school. They say older students could be dealing with “FOMO,” the fear of missing out.
“Parents have to keep on top of the information, both the medical, the state, the government, the city, the school information so that they know what the guidelines are,” said Dr. Robin Goodman, a psychologist.
- Resources, Hotlines, Unemployment & Covering Bills
- Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home
- Ask Dr. Max Your Health Questions
- How Make Your Own DIY Face Mask
- How To Safely Remove Disposable Gloves
- Tips For Parents To Help Kids Cope
- Chopper 2 Over Empty NYC Streets, Landmarks
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
Ultimately, families need to decide what they’re comfortable with.
Younger children may benefit from practicing safe interactions. Parents can talk to older children about what is and isn’t safe.
“As soon as playgrounds opened up, I just decided I would keep my distance. I’d wear a mask, but I wanted her to have a chance to play in the water, and if that meant that she had to be around other kids, then so be it,” said Kirkley Strand, who was holding her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Daisy.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Experts say parents and caregivers really need to manage their own behavior and anxiety because children are watching and will pick up on it.
Five-year-old Hugo Baumann’s parents made sure their son knows the rules.
“When people inevitably make the mistake of getting too close without a mask, Hugo will look at me and say, ‘No mask,’ and get away from the person,” said Caroline Baumann.
Hugo’s parents keep him busy – he just started his first in-person taekwondo class since the pandemic started.
Experts say there is no uniform policy on how to socialize your kids. They say to just stay informed and do what’s right for your family.