As social distancing rules become more relaxed, parents are faced with tough decisions about when and how to allow their child to have safe playdates with friends. Current advice from public health and medical professionals about the safety of playdates has been inconsistent, with some experts saying it’s too early in the COVID-19 crisis to start having playdates, and others suggesting that limited playdates with one or two friends could be relatively safe if precautions are taken. Deciding what is best for your child can be difficult and requires weighing the risks of contracting and spreading the virus, as well as your child’s mental health and social needs.
If you decide that it is time for your child to resume in-person playdates, experts recommend taking precautions, including playing outside, avoiding contact sports and games, wearing masks, and keeping kids a few feet apart while they play. These precautions will be difficult for many kids to follow. For kids with ADHD, following these precautions will be even more difficult because of their tendency to be forgetful and impulsive. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your child follow safe playdate guidelines while they are enjoying their time with friends.
Debrief after the playdate. Talk to your child about how things went after the playdate. Keep things positive and emphasize the things that your child did well. If there are a few things they need to work on for next time, mention them but don’t dwell on them right now. Playdates should be fun, and your child’s experience should end on a high note!
Mary Rooney, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Dr Rooney is a researcher and clinician specializing in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD and co-occurring behavioral, anxiety, and mood disorders. A strong advocate for those with attention and behavior problems, Dr. Rooney is committed to developing and providing comprehensive, cutting edge treatments tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and adolescent. Dr. Rooney's clinical interventions and research avenues emphasize working closely with parents and teachers to create supportive, structured home and school environments that enable children and adolescents to reach their full potential. In addition, Dr. Rooney serves as a consultant and ADHD expert to Huntington Learning Centers.
Huntington Learning Center is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students of all levels succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington's mission is to give every student the best education possible. Call us today at 1.800.CAN LEARN to discuss how Huntington can help your child. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
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