Returning to school after learning remotely
The first day or week of school is happening and some kids may be nervous about heading back to class, especially if they spent the last year learning remote.
“I think schools have really learned a lot about how to calm kids’ anxieties and their worries and how to help keep them safe, but again, be prepared,” said Vanessa Jensen, PsyD, pediatric psychologist for Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “These kids have not been around other kids. It’s almost like when a new child goes to daycare for the first time.”
Dr. Jensen said if your child is feeling nervous, it’s perfectly normal. Her advice, be sure to offer them reassurance and remind them that other kids are going through the same changes.
You could also help them get used to socializing again by doing some back-to-school shopping or taking them to a restaurant, that way they know it’s okay to be around other people.
If they ask you about wearing masks or vaccines, Dr. Jensen said make sure your explanations are simple and to the point.
“Don’t feel like, as parents, you have to give them the $10,000 explanation that goes into the vaccines and the immune system. As kids get older, they’ll ask questions if they have questions. Little kids, they need the little bits, ‘we want you to do this, it’s important to us’ and most kids do want to please mom and dad at that age,” she explained.
Dr. Jensen said it’s also important for parents not to minimize their child’s concerns. For example, if they keep looking for reasons why they can’t go to school, then it may be worth talking to a medical professional.
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