The outbreak of the pandemic was sudden, and we were not prepared for it. It brought in a lot of chaos along with it and was especially disruptive for a normal life. Everything being considered, how it affected the world- human life, and economy; the most incomprehensible has been its deep-rooted effect on children and disruption in their growth.
The question to ask is-
Has the pandemic blunted social skills in children?
Have communication skills been a silent victim of the pandemic?
Definitely! It did not allow children to tap interpersonal skills to their full potential due to the pandemic restrictions. Now it is imperative to brush up on those communication and social skills blunted by the pandemic. The ability to communicate with ease is a need for social growth. The art of conversation for children needs to be polished and improved with strong motivation from parents because they form a foundation for their interpersonal skills in the future!
It is vitally important to encourage kids to experience communication as they would have, had the pandemic not been a reality. So push them to get back into practice by allowing them to interact with people (of course, while adhering to social distancing norms). Let them gain first-hand experience communicating with friends-family-peers to grasp non-verbal cues of body language, eye contact, facial expressions, language structuring, tone, assessing emotions; to hone those skills. Children need to have opportunities where they can experience all these by themselves. Enable children to have social interactions, peer interactions to enable them to express themselves freely. Effective communication comes with practice and observation.
It’s a virtual world today. And online communication tools have fast-paced a lot due to restrictions of the pandemic. And they are here to stay! Kids must get comfortable with this hybrid model of communication too. It can act as a great medium to polish skills of communication for children from home itself. Take the maximum advantage by involving them in highly interactive- Multiplayer games, Live workshops, Online quizzes, debates, etc. This exposure can help maximize their digital communication, which is an important 21st-century skill to possess.
E-learning mediums with a built-in approach to interactivity and student engagement can be a great way to re-introduce children to pre-pandemic communication roles. A pedagogical approach that encourages learning through communication, interaction, and peer discussions works greatly in building the confidence of expression in young minds. This equips children to have meaningful interaction. For example, BeyondSkool’s Leadership Communication course targets Public Speaking, Creative Writing, Debating, Dramatics, and more through interactive teaching methodology to boost Confidence, Communication, Intelligence & Emotional Quotient in children.
Lack of social interaction can hamper a child’s overall development and create a domino effect by disrupting their cognitive development and emotional stability. If you look at the bigger picture here, you will understand how detrimental it can be in their future careers and grown-up life. Hopefully, you see the core problem that can emerge if enough attention is not paid to sharpening children’s communication skills blunted by the pandemic!