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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
M.A. Holmes's 10 Social Skills for Post-Pandemic Kids is a non-fiction parenting self-help book. Its aim is to assist those with children in the home who were likely faced with additional socialization obstacles, above and beyond what would be considered normal, following the incredibly abnormal isolation required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social skills are acquired and when children have been relegated to independent play and study during their most critical learning years, the impact can be immense. Broken down into eleven distinct and interconnected parts, Holmes provides useful developmental tools, tips, and tricks to help bridge the gap and get our children back on track. These include, but are certainly not limited to, topics such as making friends, active listening and good communication skills, empathy, cooperation, respect, and appropriate behavior depending on circumstance.
One of my sisters went into lockdown with her three-year-old son – and only child – and when we were able to emerge and reunite, he was five. A few months prior we had joked with my nephew that, once upon a time, when children had birthdays other children would come and they would play and sing and all eat cake together. His response? A wide-eyed and whispered, “Woooooow.” I suspect he's not alone, which is why 10 Social Skills for Post-Pandemic Kids by M.A. Holmes might just be one of the most useful family guides available right now. The part I connected with the most, based on our own struggles, was chapter eight and its focus on problem-solving. The idea of playing the game (that those of us over a certain age might remember) to strengthen problem-solving skills is by employing the make-believe “The Floor is Lava” strategy. How do they get across? What path can they create? What's the plan if that path fails? There is so much to learn here and I have no doubt this book will have something for every parent.