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Our Responsibility To Physical Distancing vs. Social Distancing - Posted March 21, 2020

Mental health professionals are reminding us of the misnomer of “social distancing” when what is more accurate is "physical distancing". Human beings are social creatures and we need that regular interaction. So how do we continue to meet that basic human need?


While we are being encouraged to remain a physical distance from each other that doesn’t mean that we can’t Skype, text, Facebook Message or any of a number of ways that we can interact without being too physically close to others. Find things to do that strengthen those social ties without having to be with them.


Part of that challenge is especially difficult for teens and young adults whose desire is to hang out with friends. Teens thrive on hanging out in groups and socializing. So how can parents encourage their kids to practice the physical distancing?


There are many things that parents can do to encourage distancing without silencing their need to socialize. There are several good resources on the Internet that parents can find that provide alternatives to having to physically hang out with their friends. One such website is: https://simply2moms.com/quaranteened-100-social-distancing-ideas-for-teens/


Parents need to sit down with their children and help them try to understand that this is a dangerous time for everyone in our country and we can have an impact on how this affects us by following the guidelines and orders being given by our health professionals and government leaders. Let them know that you get it even though you may not understand it. Remember when you were a teen and remind your children that this is only a temporary pause in everyone’s life and that we will survive this challenge. The key is following the guidelines and following personal hygiene practices.