Throughout the pandemic, social skills have been lacking for children because they haven't been able to interact with other kids. 

They haven't been on normal play dates or on the playgrounds for months. If and when they do go back to school, things won't be the same. Wearing a mask and socially distancing is difficult for them to fully understand.

"I think they need it and I will be sending my kids back to school," Rose Helsley, a Millcreek Township School District parent says. 

She knows it will be difficult for her five-year old to keep his face mask on, but she says he will do it once he gets used to it and is reminded to do it each day. She says going back to school is the only option because her and her husband both work and she believes kids need that social interaction.

Sherri Klingensmith, a licensed counselor in the state of Pennsylvania also says she will be sending her kids back to school because she thinks they need those social skills. 

"They need to be back with their friends and they need to be back in school with their teachers," Klingensmith says. 

She says personal connection is so important, especially for children. The normal lessons in an elementary classroom are sharing, caring, giving high-fives, and even hugging the teachers. All of those are big no-no's during the pandemic. 

Klingensmith says it is important for parents to help with these social skills at home, regardless of if their child will be attending school online or in person. 

"Parents need to make sure that kids are able to experience what they need in the sense of physical touch with the people they are able to have that close contact with," she says. 

She says parents can hug their children, teach them to high five, and make them play with their siblings, all in an effort to help their social skills. She also says it is important for parents to remain calm around their children. She says parents shouldn't complain about wearing masks or being in a pandemic and that they need to radiate a sense of calmness. 

Klingensmith also says that under every face mask is a lot of emotion and that it is important for children to see emotion. She reccommends clear facemasks, especially for teachers. 

As far as counseling goes, Klingensmith says school counselors are needed now more than ever because they need to check up on the kids who have been spending a lot of time at home. Kids may be experiencing a heightened anxiety, family issues, or a lack of food on the table right now.