As schools push to return to in-person learning, some students can’t wait to go, but others are nervous and afraid about it. It’s been a year since some of these kids have been in classrooms and the American Academy of Pediatrics explains the transition may be challenging for some of them.
Kids may feel separation anxiety, especially if they’ve experienced ADHD, depression or anxiety before. Younger children may also struggle with a change in their routine and any kids who’ve previously been bullied or had social anxiety may have done well during virtual school and may be concerned about leaving the comfort of virtual learning.
So how can we help our kids succeed in this transition?
Here’s what doctors and teachers recommend:
● Be honest – Always tell kids the truth. Pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson explains that it’s okay to tell them there are things you don’t know, while reminding them about the things you do know and what you’re doing to protect and guide them.
● Be a model – How we respond to anxiety, stress and the circumstances of our life has a huge impact on our kids, Swanson says. Don’t pretend there’s no anxiety or stress, just talk through it with them.
● Create a safe space to talk – Psychiatrist Neha Chaudhary wants parents to check-in with kids about how they’re feeling and help them process what they’re dealing with.
● Acknowledge that children are incredible – “I think we cannot underestimate kids,” says developmental and behavioral pediatrician Carol Weitzman. Kids are plugged in and aware of what it’s going to be like going back and these experts agree that what’s most important to help them succeed is a good support system. Source: Good Morning America