Parents’ Perception: Early Childhood Social Behaviour During Physical Distancing in the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Luluk Ekyana Universitas IVET Semarang
  • Mohammad Fauziddin Universitas Pahlawan Tuanku Tambusai
  • Nurul Arifiyanti Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam NU Purworejo


During physical distancing, children do not meet their peers to play or talk together. Peer relationships have a crucial influence on all child development, especially for social skills or behaviour during early childhood. This study aims to determine changes in children's social behaviour during physical distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. This research method is a descriptive quantitative study designed with the percentage value was used as a score for measuring the results of parental observations of children concerning the child's social behaviour instrument. Quota sampling (150 parents) was used to reach participants from various cities in Indonesia to see cultural differences. Data on children's social behaviour was obtained using the Preschool and Kindergarten Behaviour Scale (PKBS) tests. The data were then analysed using descriptive statistics. The results show that there are changes in children's social behaviour during physical distancing. Children who are less independent (58.9%) are the biggest decline in social behaviour reported by parents, while the one who changes the least is cleaning up the mess that has been made (38.7%). The implication of the results of this study is that parents should continue to pay attention to their children's social behaviour by providing opportunities for children to interact with peers in the house while still paying attention to health protocols.

Keywords:  Early Childhood, Social Behaviour, Physical Distancing


Aksoy, P., & Baran, G. (2010). Review of studies aimed at bringing social skills for children in preschool period. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, 9, 663–669.

Al-Tammemi, A. B. (2020). The Battle Against COVID-19 in Jordan: An Early Overview of the Jordanian Experience. Frontiers in Public Health, 8(May), 1–6.

Arkorful, V., & Abaidoo, N. (2015). The role of e-learning, advantages, and disadvantages of its adoption in higher education. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 12(1), 29–42.

Atiles, J. T., Almodóvar, M., Chavarría Vargas, A., Dias, M. J. A., & Zúñiga León, I. M. (2021). International responses to COVID-19: Challenges faced by early childhood professionals. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 29(1), 66–78.

Baloran, E. T. (2020). Knowledge, Attitudes, Anxiety, and Coping Strategies of Students during COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 25(8), 635–642.

Berns, R. M. (2007). Child, Family, School, and Community. Cengage.

Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: Rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet, 395(10227), 912–920.

Cachón-Zagalaz, J., Zagalaz-Sánchez, M. L., Arufe-Giráldez, V., Sanmiguel-Rodríguez, A., & González-Valero, G. (2021). Physical activity and daily routine among children aged 0-12 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2), 1–13.

Ceylan, S. S., Erdoğan, Ç., & Turan, T. (2021). Investigation of the effects of restrictions applied on children during Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 61, 340–345.

Chaelin, K. R. et al. (2018). Association of Digital Media Use with Subsequent Symptoms of Attention Defi-cit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Adolescents. J. Am. Med. Assoc.

Corredor, G. A., Justicia-Arráez, A., Romero-López, M., & Benavides-Nieto, A. (2017). Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Social Competence on Behavioral Problems. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 237(June 2016), 479–485.

de Figueiredo, C. S., Sandre, P. C., Portugal, L. C. L., Mázala-de-Oliveira, T., da Silva Chagas, L., Raony, Í., Ferreira, E. S., Giestal-de-Araujo, E., dos Santos, A. A., & Bomfim, P. O. S. (2021). COVID-19 pandemic impact on children and adolescents’ mental health: Biological, environmental, and social factors. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 106(November 2020).

Diesendruck, G., & Ben-Eliyahu, A. (2006). The relationships among social cognition, peer acceptance, and social behavior in Israeli kindergarteners. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30(2), 137–147.

Dong, C., Cao, S., & Li, H. (2020). Young children’s online learning during COVID-19 pandemic: Chinese parents’ beliefs and attitudes. Children and Youth Services Review, 118(September), 105440.

Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. W. (2012). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications(10th ed). Pearson.

Gelir, I., & Duzen, N. (2021). Children’s changing behaviours and routines, challenges, and opportunities for parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Education 3-13, 0(0), 1–11.

Goldschmidt, K. (2020). The COVID-19 Pandemic: Technology use to Support the Wellbeing of Children. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 53(xxxx), 88–90.

Goodman, A., Joshi, H., & Nasim, B. (2015). Social and emotional skills in childhood and their long-term effects on adult life. A Review for The Eraly Intervention Foundation, March, 118.

Grier, L. K., & Boutakidis, I. (2018). The ecology of social support in relation to academic and behavioral self-perceptions among African American boys and girls. Journal of Human Behaviour in The Social Environment, 28(6), 798–816.

Gülay, H., & Önder, A. (2013). A study of social-emotional adjustment levels of preschool children in relation to peer relationships. Education 3-13, 41(5), 514–522.

Hu, B. Y., Johnson, G. K., Teo, T., & Wu, Z. (2020). Relationship Between Screen Time and Chinese Children’s Cognitive and Social Development. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 34(2), 183–207.

Idoiaga Mondragon, N., Berasategi Sancho, N., Dosil Santamaria, M., & Eiguren Munitis, A. (2021). Struggling to breathe: A qualitative study of children’s wellbeing during lockdown in Spain. Psychology and Health, 36(2), 179–194.

Izza, H. (2020). Meningkatkan Perkembangan Sosial Anak Usia Dini melalui Metode Proyek. Jurnal Obsesi: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini, 4(2), 951.

Koh, W. C., Naing, L., & Wong, J. (2020). Estimating the impact of physical distancing measures in containing COVID-19: An empirical analysis. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 100, 42–49.

Kusuma, L., Dimyati, & Harun. (2022). Perhatian Orang tua dalam Mendukung Keterampilan Sosial Anak selama Pandemi Covid-19. Jurnal Obsesi: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini, 6(1), 473–491.

Kyriazis, A., Mews, G., Belpaire, E., Aerts, J., & Malik, S. A. (2020). Physical distancing, children, and urban health. Cities & Health, 00(00), 1–6.

Lau, E. Y. H., & Lee, K. (2020). Parents’ Views on Young Children’s Distance Learning and Screen Time During COVID-19 Class Suspension in Hong Kong. Early Education and Development, 00(00), 1–18.

Leeuw, R. A. De, Logger, D. N., Westerman, M., Bretschneider, J., Plomp, M., & Scheele, F. (2019). Influencing factors in the implementation of postgraduate medical e-learning: A thematic analysis. 1–10.

Liu, Y., Yue, S., Hu, X., Zhu, J., Wu, Z., Wang, J., & Wu, Y. (2021). Associations between feelings/behaviors during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and depression/anxiety after lockdown in a sample of Chinese children and adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders, 284(November 2020), 98–103.

Mantovani, S., Bove, C., Ferri, P., Manzoni, P., Cesa Bianchi, A., & Picca, M. (2021). Children ‘under lockdown’: Voices, experiences, and resources during and after the COVID-19 emergency. Insights from a survey with children and families in the Lombardy region of Italy. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 29(1), 35–50.

McCormack, G. R., Doyle-Baker, P. K., Petersen, J. A., & Ghoneim, D. (2020). Parent anxiety and perceptions of their child’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Preventive Medicine Reports, 20, 101275.

Melinda, A. E., & Izzati. (2014). Perkembangan Sosial Anak Usia Dini. Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini Undiksha, 9(1), 127–131.

Merell, K. W. (2013). Prechool and kindergarten behavior scales. In Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling(Vol. 53, Issue 9).

Merkaš, M., Perić, K., & Žulec, A. (2021). Parent Distraction with Technology and Child Social Competence during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Parental Emotional Stability. Journal of Family Communication, 21(3), 186–204.

Mochida, S., Sanada, M., Shao, Q., Lee, J., Takaoka, J., Ando, S., & Sakakihara, Y. (2021). Factors modifying children’s stress during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.

Mohamed, A. H. H. (2017). Gender as a moderator of the association between teacher – child relationship and social skills in preschool. Early Child Development and Care, 0(0), 1–15.

Morelli, M., Cattelino, E., Baiocco, R., Trumello, C., Babore, A., Candelori, C., & Chirumbolo, A. (2020). Parents and Children During the COVID-19 Lockdown: The Influence of Parenting Distress and Parenting Self-Efficacy on Children’s Emotional Well-Being. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(October), 1–10.

Morgül, E., Kallitsoglou, A., & Essau, C. (2020). Psychological effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on children and families in the UK. Revista de Psicología Clínica Con Niños y Adolescentes, 7(3), 42–48.

Munasinghe, S., Sperandei, S., Freebairn, L., Conroy, E., Jani, H., Marjanovic, S., & Page, A. (2020). The Impact of Physical Distancing Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health and Well-Being Among Australian Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 67(5), 653–661.

Munastiwi, E., & Puryono, S. (2021). Unprepared management decreases education performance in kindergartens during Covid-19 pandemic. Heliyon, 7(5), e07138.

Naser, A. Y., Al-Hadithi, H. T., Dahmash, E. Z., Alwafi, H., Alwan, S. S., & Abdullah, Z. A. (2020). The effect of the 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak on social relationships: A cross-sectional study in Jordan. International Journal of Social Psychiatry.

Nofziger, S. (2008). The “Cause” of Low Self-Control. Journal Research in Crime and Delinquency, 45(2), 191–224.

O’Keeffe, C., & McNally, S. (2021). ‘Uncharted territory’: Teachers’ perspectives on play in early childhood classrooms in Ireland during the pandemic. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 29(1), 79–95.

Ozturk Eyimaya, A., & Yalçin Irmak, A. (2021). Relationship between parenting practices and children’s screen time during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Turkey. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 56, 24–29.

Parczewska, T. (2020). Difficult situations and ways of coping with them in the experiences of parents homeschooling their children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Education 3-13, 0(0), 1–12.

Pascal, C., & Bertram, T. (2021). What do young children have to say? Recognising their voices, wisdom, agency and need for companionship during the COVID pandemic. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 20–34.

Popyk, A. (2020). The impact of distance learning on the social practices of schoolchildren during the COVID-19 pandemic: Reconstructing values of migrant children in Poland. European Societies, 0(0), 1–15.

Quennerstedt, A. (2016). Young children’s enactments of human rights in early childhood education. International Journal of Early Years Education, 24(1), 5–18.

Rachman, S. P. D., & Cahyani, I. (2019). Perkembangan Keterampilan Sosial Anak Usia Dini. (JAPRA) Jurnal Pendidikan Raudhatul Athfal (JAPRA), 2(1), 52–65.

Ramadhani, P. R., & Fauziah, P. Y. (2020). Hubungan Sebaya dan Permainan Tradisional pada Keterampilan Sosial dan Emosional Anak Usia Dini Abstrak. Jurnal Obsesi : Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini, 4(2), 1011–1020.

Ren, L., Hu, B. Y., & Song, Z. (2019). Child routines mediate the relationship between parenting and social-emotional development in Chinese children. Children and Youth Services Review, 98(December 2018), 1–9.

Ren, L., & Xu, W. (2019). Coparenting and Chinese preschoolers’ social-emotional development: Child routines as a mediator. Children and Youth Services Review, 107, 104549.

Rusmayadi, & Herman. (2019). The Effect of Social Skill on Children’s Independence. Journal of Educational Science and Technology, 5(2), 159–165.

Sari, C. R., Hartati, S., & Yetti, E. (2019). Peningkatan Perilaku Sosial Anak melalui Permainan Tradisional Sumatera Barat. Jurnal Obsesi: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini, 3(2), 416–424.

Sendil, C. O., & Erden, F. T. (2012). Preschool Teachers’ Strategies to Enhance Social Interaction Skills of Children during Playtime. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 918–923.

Setiawati, E., Solihatulmillah, E., Cahyono, H., & Dewi, A. (2019). The Effect of Gadget on Children’s Social Capability. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1179(1).

Setyawan, C. F., Sudirman, D. F., Sari, D. P., Rizki, F., Eva, N., Psi, S., & Psi, M. (2021). Asesmen Perkembangan Sosio Emosinal pada Anak Usia Dini. Prosiding Seminar Nasional Dan Call Paper Mahasiswa “Memperkuat Kontribusi Kesehatan Mental Dalam Penyelesaian Pandemi Covid 19: Tinjauan Multidisipliner”, April, 58–70.

Sheridan, S. M., Knoche, L. L., Boise, C., Witte, A., Koziol, N., Prokasky, A., Schumacher, R., & Kerby, H. (2021). Relationships as Malleable Factors for Children’s Social-Behavioral Skills from Preschool to Grade 1: A Longitudinal Analysis. Early Education and Development, 00(00), 1–21.

Siekkinen, M., Pakarinen, E., Lerkkanen, M., Poikkeus, A., Salminen, J., Poskiparta, E., & Nurmi, E. (2014). Early Education and Development Social Competence Among 6-year-old Children and Classroom Instructional Support and Teacher Stress. Early Education and Development, 24(6), 877–897.

Sintia, N., Kuswanto, C. W., & Meriyati, M. (2019). Meningkatkan Kemampuan Sosial Anak Usia Dini dengan Model Outbound. Jurnal CARE (Children Advisory Research and Education), 6(2), 1–10.

Siregar, S. L., & Subiyantoro. (2021). Peran Orang Tua dalam Mengembangkan Kemampuan Sosial Emosioal Anak Usia Dini. EDUKIDS: Jurnal Pertumbuhan, Perkembangan, Dan Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini, 18(1), 1–6.

Stephen, C., & Edwards, S. (2018). Young Children Playing and Learning in a Digital Age. Routledge.

Tchimtchoua Tamo, A. R. (2020). An analysis of mother stress before and during COVID-19 pandemic: The case of China. Health Care for Women International, 41(11–12), 1–14.

Unnever, J. D., Cullen, F. T., & Agnew, R. (2006). Why is “Bad” Parenting Criminogenic? Implications From Rival Theories. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4(1), 3–33.

Wang, S., Hu, B. Y., LoCasale-Crouch, J., & Li, J. (2021). Supportive parenting and social and behavioral development: Do classroom emotional support moderate? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 77(101331).

Zhang, X. (2021). Barriers and benefits of primary caregivers’ involvement in children’s education during COVID-19 school closures. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 66(December 2020), 102570.

Zhang, X., & Nurmi, J. E. (2012). Teacher-child relationships and social competence: A two-year longitudinal study of Chinese preschoolers. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 33(3), 125–135.

How to Cite
Ekyana, L., Fauziddin, M., & Arifiyanti, N. (2021). Parents’ Perception: Early Childhood Social Behaviour During Physical Distancing in the Covid-19 Pandemic. Jurnal Pendidikan Usia Dini, 15(2), 258 - 280.