With COVID restrictions easing, vaccinations for 12-15 year olds becoming available, and schools opening up once again, it’s easy to look back at the past year like it was just a terrifying nightmare. For the first time in a while, we can look forward to a summer filled with activities that involve our friends, rather than isolate them from us. However, can the previous 12 months of staying holed up indoors and losing social interaction follow us as we return to “normal life”? Unfortunately, the answer is yes—especially for children.
Many studies find that pandemics greatly hinder the development of behaviors vital to a child’s growth. Dr. Michelle Aguilar, head of pediatrics at Venice Family Clinic, states that children lack the “social interactions that they would have normally gotten from people outside their homes. They’re lacking that play time with other children.” Many parents have bore the brunt of socially engaging their child during the pandemic, a role once held by classmates, teammates, and friends. As a result, many children have adopted a timid demeanor, struggling to interact with peers and adults alike; after all, they’ve had no ‘on-the-ground’ experience to learn how to approach others.
In order to address this barrier to child development, the first step is to pinpoint an effect of the pandemic and identify steps to resolve the issue. According to pediatric researchers at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, a large source of worry caused by the pandemic is the creation of toxic stress in children’s lives. Known as an adverse childhood experience (ACE), this toxic stress can produce “consequent potential losses for brain development, individual and collective health, and the long-term impairment of cognition, mental and physical health, and working capacity of future adults.”
Luckily, the relative brevity of the pandemic in a child’s life gives us the power to nurture their social and emotional development. The solution? Communication and interaction with others. Most notably, researchers found that children who receive support and affection from adults will experience a biochemical restoration of their mental and emotional health. For this reason, Bamrec will nurture the fundamental child-to-child relationships that children missed out on this year through our field trips, camps, and courses. Moreover, we are taking extra care to hire coaches who will reinforce your child’s confidence, build up their character, and encourage their creativity. At Bamrec, we know all about the value that mentors can bring in a child’s life. Now more than ever, we are prioritizing these connections, and bringing back what children deserve after a year of isolation. From summer camp to technical classes, download the Bamrec App on your mobile device to register your child and help them grow in a positive environment!
Written By Meriem Cherif