If you have young children at home, chances are it’s been fairly difficult in having them keep their hands to themselves. As the world is opening up more, it’s been a little easier running errands and getting out. But what about your toddlers? Are they grabbing onto every surface outside the house? Touching people and items in stores? It can be difficult in having growing children get denied some of the basic rules of growing up and learning boundaries, but it can still be enjoyed safely. 

Compromising Is Key

No matter the age of your child, it can be hard for them to keep their hands to themselves, no matter where they are. They may be used to hugging and showing affection at home, but then as soon as they leave, they aren’t allowed to touch anything. It can be quite confusing, especially for younger children. In some circumstances, compromise may be your saving grace. You may not be able to stop your child from touching everything, but you can limit what they touch. You can allow them to handle and touch objects that may have a lower risk of containing germs, while instilling the importance of avoiding other items, like door knobs, glass, and other high-touch surfaces. This way, your child can still experience the world while decreasing their chances of risks associated with Covid. 

Social Boundaries

Even though the world is opening up more and more every day, there are still risks associated for the younger population of the world. Vaccines are available for children 12 years and older, but trials are still being conducted on younger populations. Touching and social interactions have changed drastically over the last year and a half, curbing a lot of natural growing and learning for children. Touching objects and people can give a child a sense of space, a sense of feel, and overall sensations from interacting with the world around them. But with social distancing and avoiding touching anyone you don’t know; this can make social interactions down the road more difficult for your children. Talking to them early and often about good social interactions and what that entails is key for them learning the basics, even if they can’t put it into practice right now. Showing them a proper hug among friends and acquaintances, a handshake, a pat on the back; these interactions are not necessarily happening right now, but it’s still important for your children to see it and practice it for when it becomes the norm again. 

Always Teaching

The way in which you show and teach your children about proper social interactions is entirely up to you. It should be catered around what you want your child to see and understand about interacting with others, and how important it is to be respectful of other’s wishes of not being touched. These teachings will go a long way for your child once they begin school and their social life increases more and more. 

Katie Kyzivat

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