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How will Social Distancing Affect Child Development?

cognitive psychology, social psychology, child development

Today’s episode of The Psychology World Podcast is on the developmental impacts of COVID-19 on children so we’ll be looking at social psychology and cognitive psychology as we will mainly be focusing on social skills and brain development.

So right now as the world seems to be returning to some sense of normal; at least in the UK; it is a great time to consider the effects of COVID-19 on the social skills and brain development of children as this is has been a massive concern of parents. As a result of the decreased social activities as well as the dramatic decrease to schooling and potentially learning.

However, I would like to assure parents that the brain development of their child and by extension their cognitive development; at least most of it; can still be on a healthy course to ‘normal’ development as long as the caregiver is attentive, loving, interactive and… basically is there and engaged with the child.

Furthermore, thankfully a child’s social skills shouldn’t be impacted too much by the pandemic as long as the caregiver is stays engaged with their child, keeps stress manageable (we’ll talk about this in a moment) and provides opportunities for age related moments.

Going back to the last point, some parents are creating very childish conversations with their children by literally narrating their entire day to their child as a way to interact and engage with them. For example: “I am putting the washing in the machine. This is the machine, and these are my jeans and your baby socks,”

Overall, a baby needs an attentive and caring caregiver that loves them, interacts with them and is engaged in them.

Nonetheless, I think that we all know how stressful COVID-19 has been on us so this can add a lot of stress into a parent’s life and whilst babies as well as children can learn from positive stress. They can be very badly affected by negative stress. Especially, as babies and toddlers when their brains are especially influenced by input.

Thus, it’s important to try and relax and try not to get stressed about it all.

Mindfulness and mediation is meant to be very useful so maybe this is something to try in the future.

I hope you have enjoyed this social psychology and cognitive psychology post. If you want to learn more then please check out my books and if you want to learn more about Development Psychology then please check out my book: Developmental Psychology.

Have a great day,



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