Social distancing may be helping to keep us all safe during the pandemic, but there’s no denying it’s hard—especially on our kids. Actress Nicole Kidman is opening up about the difficult time her two young daughters have had navigating it all, and it’s a plight that will feel sadly familiar to many of us.
Kidman and singer Keith Urban are parents to 12-year-old daughter Sunday and 9-year-old Faith, in addition to Kidman’s two adult children with Tom Cruise. In an interview with Glamour UK, Kidman explained that her younger daughters are used to attending school remotely due to their famous parents’ schedules, but they were still unprepared for the loneliness that followed being unable to see their friends.
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“The social distance has been very difficult for them. They are working through the emotions,” Kidman told the magazine. “For a 12-year-old, it’s about not being able to access friends easily – that’s a whole thing which every parent will be going through. And then, there’s a nine-year-old, who’s socially forming.” Kidman explained that it’s even more painful because she knows exactly what they’re going through. “One of the hardest things is just watching them pine and yearn for their friends. I pine and yearn for my friends too,” she said. Kidman went to explain that she’s experienced plenty of loneliness in her life, calling it a great killer. “You see it now in this world. We can’t even hug anymore. Loneliness is an epidemic.”
No doubt countless moms, dads, and kids across the world are part of that epidemic. But experts at the Mayo Clinic say there are plenty of ways to help kids cope with the loneliness of social distancing, including plenty of video chats to stay connected to friends and family members, and keeping some structure in place by planning plenty of fun activities at home.
But Kidman hits on what be the important way of all: acknowledging and talking about the pain your child is feeling, and letting them know that however lonely they might feel, they’ll never be alone.