Are you or your children anxious over the return to school? Many schools have been easing into the return with a hybrid school model, but come this fall, most are expecting to be full-time in-person.
Are You OK?
It hasn’t been easy being a conscientious parent during this crazy pandemic. Balancing safety with the need for kids to socialize has left many parents torn about what is right and what is safe, not just for their children but for the family as a whole. Kids may not be as susceptible to COVID-19, but they can certainly be carriers.
We don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, so we have to trust our instincts about what is best for our own family situation. A young, healthy family may be just fine launching their children back into mainstream education. A family with an elderly live-in grandparent, or a health compromised immediate family member, may need to think about the risks of in-person education.
Your best course of action is to weigh the advantages and risks of sending your children back to school. The quality of the education, the value of the social atmosphere, the return to routine and a normal lifestyle are certainly among the benefits. Your break from being a full-time parent may also factor into the decision.
Of course, on the other side of the argument are the risks of exposure to the coronavirus. Extending the home-schooling arrangement may be a necessity if you have elderly or medically at-risk family members.
How Do Your Kids Feel About the Return?
As parents, we have many things to consider when deciding to embrace back-to-school or home-school. Your children’s needs for a good education, your professional needs in the work environment, and a balance of family health and safety. But how do your children feel about the return? Are they anxious? Concerned? Maybe even a little frightened?
Children who are heading back into the classroom this fall may be a bit more apprehensive than usual about returning to school. For many, there will be separation anxiety after spending so many months of family togetherness. There may also be concerns about safety, the new rules of separation and sanitization, the concerns about another shutdown over an outbreak. Some of their concerns may be related to how you feel as children often pick up quite a bit of emotional spill over from their parents.
Some children may be overjoyed at the prospect of returning to school, seeing their friends again, and getting on with life as they used to know it. In fact, you may have a mixed household of feelings on the subject, making it even more challenging for you to balance your responses to the YEAH and the NAY.
Validate Their Feelings
The most important thing you can do as a parent is to NOT brush off either response with a “Don’t Worry” or “It’ll Be Fine” type of answer. Let them fully express their feelings and help them to feel validated about their concerns. Don’t feed their worry, but don’t brush off their anxiety either.
If you or your child is struggling a bit more than normal, reach out to us for personalized counseling and therapy via text, video, or phone. Let us help you deal with any anxiety or negative feelings. We will work with you and your child to embrace change and foster a positive attitude about school, whatever your decision is!!!