The week's best parenting advice: October 6, 2020

How COVID affects kids' social skills, the benefits of saying yes, and more

A child on Zoom.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

1. Will COVID hurt kids' social skills?

The pandemic has changed how human beings interact, and this is true for our kids, as well. Many children aren't allowed to hug their friends, or are only engaging with their peers through a video screen. Will this leave them emotionally stunted? Jessica Grose investigated the question for NYT Parenting and concluded that "the majority of neurotypical kids will be able to socialize just fine." Kids under age 2 "are mostly playing by themselves," and elementary-school kids can get their social needs met very easily. But kids ages 2-5 may be missing out on lessons in moral reasoning, says clinical associate professor of child and family studies Sally Beville Hunter, Ph.D., adding that "they need to learn what is fair and what is right, and they learn that from being with other children." The good news is they can also learn this while playing with siblings. And experts told Grose mask wearing may actually help kids "become better verbal communicators."

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Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a writer and former deputy editor of The Week Digital. Originally from the American Midwest, she completed a degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington before relocating to New York City, where she pursued a career in media. After joining The Week as an intern in 2010, she served as the title’s audience development manager, senior editor and deputy editor, as well as a regular guest on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. Her writing has featured in other publications including Popular Science, Fast Company, Fortune, and Self magazine, and she loves covering science and climate-related issues.