5 Tips To Prepare Your Child For Going Back To School During COVID-19

Elementary student washing her hands - 5 Tips To Prepare Your Child For Going Back To School During COVID-19

5 Tips To Prepare Your Child For Going Back To School During COVID-19

Going to school, especially for the first time, can be stressful at the best of times, but during a global pandemic can seem like a truly daunting task for children. After six months of being told to stay home and social distance the return to school may be causing anxiety in both you and your child. Here are a few tips to help get you and your child ready for this change:

Social Connections

Encourage your child to stay social with their friends and other peers to help them feel connected. Safe and monitored use of online platforms such as games or social media, as well as socially distanced outings, can help your child develop a support system within their peer group to tackle this difficult time together.

Routines

Many of us experienced a radical shift in our routines due to the pandemic and getting back into the swing of things as schools and workplaces reopen may take time. Preparing your child by re-establishing set bedtimes and mealtimes over the next few weeks is a great first step. Talk to your children about what new routines they want to add as a way to include them in taking charge of their day. And be sure to add in things like handwashing after coming inside to get kids prepared for their new responsibilities.

Normalize Mask-Wearing

While some children have already been out in public and have become familiar with mask wearing, others are still getting used to the idea. Make sure you are setting a good example for your child by always wearing a mask while in public spaces and help them find one that is both comfortable and fun to wear. If you are worried about the length of time your child may need to wear a mask, try having them wear one while they are using technology as a way to get used to its passive presence.

Help Your Child Continue To Cope

Spend quality time with your kids. Not only is this important in general, but it will give you a chance to notice any changes in their mood that may give you a warning sign that they are not dealing with all of these new changes well. Listen to their fears, empathize and validate their feelings, and model healthy coping skills.

Ease your child’s worries

Knowing what to expect and learning about ways to ensure your child’s safety while they are at school are as important to them as they are to you. Reassure your children about the safety measures that have been put in place to keep students and teachers healthy. Remind children that they can also help prevent germs spreading by washing their hands with soap and coughing or sneezing into their elbow.

Do you or your child need support dealing with anxiety around their return to school?

The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who are trained to work with both children and adults on a variety of issues including anger management, anxiety, stress, and fears.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing, as well as in-person sessions.

Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.

Source:
https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/supporting-your-childs-mental-health-during-covid-19-school-return
https://www.cheo.on.ca/en/resources-and-support/resources/P6225E.pdf
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-help-kids-manage-back-to-school-anxiety-in-the-covid-era-11597671639

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