Written by Rebecca Ginnetti, School Counselor
As communities prepare for students to return to school, whether in person or virtually, this school year will be different. The following are tips to equip families with the tools and the mindset to manage the logistical changes and range of emotions children and adults may be experiencing.
Tip #1: Adults, Take Care of Yourselves
Helping your child make a healthy transition back to school means that you must first make sure that you are managing your own feelings. Remember to keep your own emotions in check when talking to your child. You serve as a great model for your child for so many things and how you handle stress and anxiety is no different. See links below for more information.
Tip #2: Talk with Your Child About Returning to School
- Review school days will be like, including the general schedule and logistics.
- Ask your child what they are looking forward to and what they are concerned about. It is okay to have some worries, that is normal.
- Reinforce the positives and identify coping strategies to address concerns.
- Discuss how new routines and adult decisions serve to provide a safe environment for everyone, adults and students alike.
- Help your child to identify steps they can take to help contribute to a safe school and home environment (i.e. wear a mask, wash hands, etc.).
- Identify ways your child can build new relationships, reconnect, and maintain relationships in a safe, kind, and comfortable way in person and online.
- Resist the urge to deflect or disengage from uncomfortable or difficult conversations. Your child will be looking to you for their information and emotional cues.
- Practice wearing a mask, safe greetings, and reading facial cues.
- Identify and practice emotion regulation strategies as tools such as Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or breathing techniques, for managing worry or anxiety.
- Create new special traditions to replace those that have to change, such as drop off time.
Tip #3: Maintain a Partnership with School for a Successful Transition
- Communicate questions, concerns, as well as, what is working well.
- Be patient. Keep a growth mindset and consider these transitions and changes we are adapting to as important coping skills/life skills that build resilience.
- Stay connected through school communications.
For more information: