AY About You wants to help our readers take care of themselves, stay refreshed and less stressed with our new weekly feature Wellness Wednesday. Each Wednesday, we will have an article about health and wellness to promote all around well-being. That means physically, mentally and emotionally!
Returning to school this fall has never looked more different.
In light of social distancing guidelines brought on by the pandemic, parents are facing hard choices, teaching is taking different forms and kids are likely feeling anxious, whether they tell you so or not.
Kids may not open up about how they are feeling, so parents need to start that dialogue to let them know they are there to help.
Lauren English, licensed professional counselor with Pinnacle Pointe Hospital, advises parents on how to prepare their children for going back to school in times of uncertainty.
- Look out for the basics
Preparing your kids for what life will be like when school starts can help them ease into the school year. This means implementing a routine at home so that life will be more predictable when school starts. This can take the form of shifting their sleep schedule, having a morning routine and getting school supplies ready sooner rather than later.
- Encourage children to open up about fears
Children might not open up to their parents without being prompted. When you talk to them, ask them about what is making them worried. Keep in mind that the things that kids worry about might not seem like worry-worthy issues to adults. Letting them talk and listening, though, will help.
- Avoid minimizing
Instead of trying to diminish, reassure, invalidate or minimize worries, encourage your children to problem-solve and plan a solution. This will help children prepare for when they are adults and have to work through problems.
- Act it out
Roleplaying certain situations can help children make a plan and give them confidence because they will be more sure of what to do when they find themselves in that situation.
- Focus on positive aspects
Kids can sometimes get caught up focusing on anxiety-inducing situations. Instead of focusing on the uncertainties, help your children focus on the good and exciting things that come with going back to school.
- Keep an eye on your own behavior
Children learn from example and pick up from those around them. If we act more relaxed and confident, our children will do the same.