As an 11-year-old boy I am not very good at socialising (especially with mum’s friends) and with COVID-19 it has definitely impacted with not only my socialising skills but with everyone’s. Also, everyone connects in my friendship group online through games and calling each other which is not the same as meeting in person.
At the moment, we should self-isolate and wait a few months. If we do that then when the elderly and more vulnerable population are vaccinated then we can go see them and everyone will be able to go out.
After that, as a way to counter act the problem of not being able to socialise now, when children go back to school, they should take a week in school to do some socialising lessons as well as still doing the main and more crucial lessons. This will ease the pressure for the kids and get them better at talking with friends and classmates that they have not seen in months. If we do this then our generation might actually benefit socially from this pandemic because we will have learnt how to do things that are difficult, and we won’t be so unsocial and addicted to our phones as people might think we are. Schools should do:
• Skills on how to teach us to start a conversation and give sentences that can be used as this is hard and can make you feel awkward
• Skills on what to do if you are stuck in a conversation and want to get out of it nicely
• Skills on how to know and show positive body language like eye contact, listening properly and facing and paying attention to the person, to encourage other people to speak who might also be feeling insecure
• Skills on how to politely show that you want to end a conversation without hurting their feelings
• Team building so kids do different activities and they don’t realise they are socialising or talking with each other because they are having fun. This will help them make friends again too.
When they have learnt skills in lessons, it is useful to practise these skills as this helps people feel more confident. Some lessons could be teenagers practising different situations with other teenagers. There are also apps that help people talk but to robots that mimic people. This means people don’t feel as self conscious as talking to a person and so might do it more. They could also do this during lockdown. Teachers could enforce this by setting these apps as homework and also other people could do them in their spare time if they wanted to.
This is all not only for kids and teenagers but for all ages as the lockdown comes to end and we get back to normal because this will help everyone to get better at socialising and talking with other people.