Because of the pandemic that has taken a stranglehold on the world as we know it for more than a year now, society has been plunged in and out of lockdown in an attempt to keep the virus at bay. Now, though, it looks as though we may finally be nearing the end of these crazy times as the vaccine rollout has exceeded expectations.
The most vulnerable have been vaccinated in the United Kingdom and the country is now in the process of slowly reopening. Children, in particular young children, have been hit hard as they have had to contend with isolation away from their friends and family. For many infants, lockdown is the only thing they will have known.
It is one of the biggest prices of lockdown and, now that it appears we are through the worst of it, now it is time to allow children to go out and live their lives. They need exercise, they need to be outside, and they need to be allowed to socialise.
The Need for Socialisation
Children learn by socialising with others and, without the possibility of being with others, they have missed out on so much. As we come out of lockdown, numerous children will be asked to adjust to once again being allowed to see other people – for many, this will take a long time as all they have known are the four walls that have surrounded them for much of the past year.
Socialisation is what helps children to discover their sense of self and, by playing with others, they reach developmental milestones. Nurseries have remained open, first to the children of key workers and the to everyone during the latter lockdown, while schools had been closed for many months. Nursery-age children won’t all have been attending nursery for various reasons that may include parents simply not wanting to risk mingling with other households, not requiring nursery as they are at home or just simply not having the finances to afford nursery.
Playdates, going to the park and play centres (such as soft play) have been the main source of socialisation for many children and that, too, had been taken away. Now they are back on the menu, getting them back together with their little friends will be the first thing on the agenda for many parents up and down the country.
As important as socialising undoubtedly is, exercise is arguably more important. Before the beginning of the pandemic, there was a massive push to get children away from screens and out and about as they used to be in generations gone by. That push was put on the shelf in favour of encouraging children to sit on the laptop and tablet to video call nan and grandad, as well as to bide the time in lockdown.
That has obviously meant that the time many children would have spent running around was substituted for sitting in front of a screen. Now, that has to change and the reality is that it is going to be harder than ever before, with such behaviour having largely been encouraged for more than a year. Children need exercise for a healthy lifestyle, as well as to instil good habits they will take with them into adulthood.
Schools will have to be seen to be investing extra time and money into ensuring that children benefit from a good amount of exercise, as well as parents themselves. Many schools have invested in new gym equipment they can utilise to help children fall back in love with exercise.
As much as we should look forward to getting back to some kind of normalcy, we must remember to tread carefully as the pandemic does continue to rage on. We know that we are not yet out of the woods, so we should continue to listen to health advice and follow the rules – otherwise, we will go straight back to square one and have to start the road to recovery all over again. No one wants that.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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