For parents who are worried about their kids being away from friends, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Remember that in our culture, and our particular era, we’ve come to believe that children’s friendships and large amounts of time spent together are highly important. But that’s not a universal truth – in many contexts globally and historically, children have primarily spent time with family, and have been very happy to do so!
Give your child time to adjust. There may be a lot of complaining about missing friends early on, but it will likely shift. Kids are adaptable and resilient. They will settle into focusing on other things and connecting with friends in new ways.
To make virtual playdates:
- You can use Facetime, Zoom or another platform. The video chat app “Together” is another option that offers a catalog of books as well as different games that can be played during a video call. You can download Together from this link: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/together-family-video-chat/id1405515604?ls=1
- If kids are younger than 4, they may get bored with screen mediated interaction. Try giving them an activity to do with another kid virtually (for example, a painting project).
- If kids are younger and need adult support for a virtual playdate, you can put one parent in the “facilitator” role and have them read stories or sing songs with two or more kids via video chat, giving the other parents a few moments to load the dishwasher or prepare a meal.
- You can also coordinate with another parent so that two or more families are all working on the same project independently, and then have time to share their projects and talk about it on a video call. Or meet online over lunch to share mealtime together. Get creative and experiment with ideas to see what works for virtual meet-ups for your kids