Your kids might now be socially awkward—and they’re not alone

Experts think pandemic isolation has impacted children’s social skills. Here’s how parents can help as their students head back to school.

Third-grade teacher Samantha Thompson was on recess duty when she heard screams. Alarmed, she scanned the playground for the source of the distress till she found the boy.

When she asked why he was screaming, the kid shrugged and replied, “I don’t know.”

In her first weeks back to school in San Diego, Thompson found this to be a common scene. “When I first came back, there was a lot of screaming for no reason,” she says. “The kids will be outside playing, and they’ll just start screaming really loud to get people’s attention or to get them to do what they want.”

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