Dear Dr. Renee,
Due to family health issues, we have been very isolated this past year. We are finally ready to face the world. I signed my daughter up for a two-hour/day, 2-week camp. What if she doesn’t remember how to make friends or interact with them?
It has been a tough year, especially if you had the added bonus of being with someone who was immunocompromised or at a higher health risk.
Similar to the academic worries parents have, there’s good and bad about the social worries parents have. As we head back into social situations, please remind yourself often that your child is not the only one facing this! That reminder is just as necessary to help your child as it is to take the pressure off of you.
I would suggest building social skills through play. If your daughter has someone her age she can play with before camp, she will be able to practice things like taking turns, being patient, or compromising. If there is not anyone her age, or that you can let into your social bubble, then you can play with her. It is a great way to practice those social skills. Play board games, make model airplanes to fly or do some imaginary play (house, dress up, camp).
When possible, give her the opportunity to practice her social skills.
You can also compliment her on specific things you notice to reinforce the positive social behaviors. Similarly, you can help her talk through and understand when something did not go as planned (i.e., friends would not share, take turns, etc.)
We are all figuring out how to move forward and dust off our social skills. I believe in you!
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