How is social isolation affecting our children?
· Affects their ability to learn empathy
Facial expressions are an important part of communication because children learn empathy by “mirroring” – the subtle imitation of facial expressions.
My own work has focused on how children with anxiety have a “superpower” in detecting facial expressions. This helps them navigate social situations that could be tricky or challenging to them. Teach them how to look for other cues to assist them with social interactions.
Here are some tips:
1) Teach them body language cues.
The majority of our communication is nonverbal. Teach them how to identify cues that communicate major emotions.
2) Teach them to communicate better verbally
If your child is used to relying on body language or facial expressions to communicate, teach them how to find a word that conveys what they feel.
As a parent, here are signs you can spot in your child:
1) Self-soothing behaviors
2) Internalizing (withdrawal) or externalizing (aggression, impulsivity) behaviors