RALEIGH (WTVD) -- There is a missing element for kids right now as we continue to stay at home - their friends and valuable social interaction with peers.
"It's really important that we know that in the brain, the brain reacts to the loss of social interaction in the same way that it might experiencing a physical illness or actual pain, so we do need to figure out a way to have kids engaged in positive social interactions with peers," Dr. Mitch Prinstein a mental health professional and professor at UNC said.
"That means doing so safely with masks outside socially distanced, but making sure that there is a way that kids can experience the full range of emotions and all of the things that you would want little kids to do when they are hanging out with others their age, not just Zoom."
Parents - you're probably crafting unique ways to ensure your child is safe while also balancing their social needs.
Dr. Prinstein suggests finding families who are practicing similar safety measures. Set up a play date or time outside with those families.
It's also suggested that parents rotate the responsibility. If you are not able to work from home, see if you can rotate with a family similar to that mentioned above so you can rotate responsibility.
If there are parents with children in your neighborhood attending the same virtual academy, this could be a good way to share in the educational load.
How to keep kids engaged with friends during COVID-19 pandemic