Many of us will be struggling with being out of physical contact with others. Those working from home are having to find new ways of keeping in contact with their colleagues. Those with elderly relatives are having to talk to them through a window or avoid them altogether. As adults, with fully formed brains, this is difficult. If we are finding it hard, then so must many of our children and young people.
It is so important to allow them opportunities to work on the relationships that are important to them. Whether it is that they facetime a grandparent; send a photograph to a friend; or send an email to their teacher. The relationships that our children and young people have built are important to them. Finding a way to stay connected will help ease some of their anxiety.
You will know your child/young person and will know what they can cope with. If Social Media is too big a responsibility for their brains to cope with then as adults we give them another way to do it.
Perhaps we add the other child’s parent to our own social media account and we allow them to message one another that way or maybe they have to try to describe the jigsaw puzzle they have made using only 8words.
Giving them something to focus on when using social media can help them to feel trusted and secure.
Agree beforehand how long they will be able to use social media and stick to it. Ensure their friends will be on at the agreed time by contacting their parents.
Stay vigilant. Although your child/young person may be able to use social media, they cannot control how other people use it.
Sharing experiences is vitally important for maintaining relationships. Doing similar things – such as the 30day lego challenge- allows for shared experiences. They can set one another a challenge such as building a tower using only red lego bricks – a challenge doesn’t always have to be competitive. The challenge can be texted from one parent/carer to another and photos shown as evidence.
There are lots of ways to help bolster connections.
It is just as important for children and young people to have positive relationships as it is for adults.