How do you teach your baby socialization during the pandemic, without actually having other people to socialize with? Read Mommy Keiki’s story about how her daughter grew anxious around people because of the pandemic.
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Family of four living in Baguio during the lockdown
Socialization during the pandemic – how is it affecting babies?
I never thought that I would ever be in the generations that would experience a pandemic, but here we are – 2021 and in a year-long struggle against the Covid-19 virus.
I am a mother of two- and my youngest was born last year when the pandemic started This is the story of how the pandemic has made my daughter scared of other people.
Our family of four
Since 2019, my husband and I and our 7-month-old son Kian have been living in Baguio City away from our relatives who were back in La Union and Vigan City. With us living away from our immediate family and other relatives, it was just the three of us.
Although this was the case, it was never lonely. We would go on weekly dates as a family, which would allow us to see and interact with other people, even if we didn’t actually know them.
Image from Freepik
By September 2019, I found out I was pregnant with my second child, Kali. Everything was good and as should be; until March 2020. The whole country was on lockdown, and it was clear that people shouldn’t go out unless for emergencies.
Kali was born in May of 2020, but she still hasn’t met her other relatives since then. Even though we are able to go out once a week since restrictions aren’t as tight as before, we still keep our distance from other people and mostly just keep to ourselves.
This has made Kali become shy and estranged towards other people.
Socialization during the pandemic – how is it affecting our children?
Whenever we go out, she and her brother are usually in a stroller. Other times, Kian would be walking while I (or daddy) carried Kali. Although Kali knows how to walk, she still prefers to be held whenever we are outside or in public.
Image from the author
Whenever someone would talk to her (whether a kid or fellow mom giving a friendly greeting), she would automatically clam up and hide or burst into tears. This would happen anywhere- at the health clinic, park, or even at our own house when our Barangay Health Workers come to check on the kids.
One time, my mother and I planned to meet because she missed her grandchildren. We planned to meet at the border- she was from La Union and us from Benguet.
My mom was so happy to see both Kian and Kali that she ran up to them and held her hands wide open. Kian, being the friendly and outgoing one, rushed to Mama and gave her a big hug. Kali, however, clammed up and started crying hysterically once a new person was so close to us.
Take note, we call my mom every day, and the kids always talk to her through video chat. Kali is able to identify Mama through the phone. Still, this time, she was terrified of the same person she would speak to every day.
Image from the author
I felt so bad for my mom that Kali was scared of her. This happens to almost everybody who comes close to us.
The pandemic has made socializing even harder than it already was before. If it is hard for us adults, how much more for our children?
I have been told by other moms who also have kids born during this pandemic that they too experience what I am experiencing. With the lack of face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact with other people, our children grow up only knowing what they experience- distance and isolation.
It is challenging for us moms and dads out there who don’t have family nearby. But know that you are not alone. Your struggles are also struggles of other parents, and we can get through this with the help of each other.