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Encouraging your child to spend time with others

We all know how strange the last year has been. And the hardest thing for many of us has been the lack of contact with our friends and family. Many of us will have been grateful for phone calls and video chats, but it isn’t the same as seeing them in person.

This will have been especially tough for children and young people. They are still learning about and establishing friendships, and may have been quite lonely being separated from their friends.

It’s important that children spend time with others. Playing and spending time with their friends is a crucial part of all children’s development, no matter how old they are. However, some children may be feeling nervous about being with others after all this time. We have some advice if you are worried that your child is anxious about seeing people again.

Our page on coronavirus guidelines for children explains the rules for meeting up with others.

Getting out and about

Getting out and about, trying new things and making new friends will help build your child’s confidence and boost their wellbeing. To help parents across the country find things for their kids to do, our Get into Summer page offers ideas and activities across Scotland. Take a look and see what you think your kids would like to try out.

What do I do if my child doesn’t want to spend time with others?

Children will have spent a lot less time around others these last few months. They’ll have had to entertain themselves and get used to playing on their own. It’s understandable that some might need a little help. Lots of children will be feeling the same, and the changes over the last few months will be hard for them to process. But there are things you can do to help make it easier for your child to start seeing people again.

In this short film, Cherie Morgan from Play Scotland explains how you can help reassure your child if they're anxious.

Tips to encourage them to meet others

What do I do if another parent is not following the rules?

While some parents are strictly following coronavirus rules, others may not be. You may find yourself at odds with other parents who have a different attitude to you. You know what’s best for your child. Do what you’re comfortable with and don’t feel pressured into doing things against current restrictions. When we reduce our day to day contact with other people we reduce the spread of the virus.