Most parents think COVID lockdowns damaged their child’s social skills
Locked out of school, away from friends, and even playgrounds were taped off.
I personally think history won't look kindly at how children have been treated over the course of the past year.
And I am not alone.
In fact, according to a new study, seven in 10 parents believe spending a year in lockdown will have a lasting impact on their child’s growth and development.
A OnePoll survey of 2,000 US-based parents with children between two and 18 years-old looked at what parents are saying about their kids after spending the majority of 2020 cooped up inside. Of the 69 percent who say they’re worried about their children in lockdown, the top concern is that it’ll be more difficult for their child to connect with people in-person in the future (52 percent).
Commissioned by The Genius of Play, the survey reveals parents also feel it’ll be more difficult for their child to play (44 percent) or make friends (44 percent) after being separated from their peers for so long. Another 68 percent of the parents believe their child’s social skills were stunted as a result of spending much of 2020 in isolation.
Loneliness, it seems, is the major concern for parents during the course of this pandemic.
As many as 72 percent of parents believe their child was lonelier than ever before during 2020. Overall, 79 percent of parents feel 2020 was the most difficult year ever for their family. Another 65 percent say that parenting was harder than in any other year.
The good news is that to help children feel better and less lonely, many parents turned to play, and actively got involved in trying to get their child or children to play more.
“2020 was a year unlike any other that produced a lot of stress for families, explains Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association, which spearheads The Genius of Play, in a statement regarding the study.
"Luckily, one of the key benefits of play is its ability to reduce stress and generate positive emotions in kids and parents alike. What’s more, research shows that toys can help kids develop emotional resilience and nurture social skills such as empathy," says Yudina.