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Returning to the School Building

Written by: Deiona Carter, M.S.
Returning to the School Building

Kids have been out of school for almost 7 months and families are now figuring out if, and when, their kids will return to school. The uncertainty of “what is best” can cause stress on families. Changes and transitions can be tough, but with communication and planning, they can go a little more smoothly.

Many parents are asking how to support their children as they decide to either continue learning from home or return to the school building. Here are some tips to help your family during this time.

  1. Talk to your child about how they feel about returning to school.

Keep in mind changes and transitions are difficult, and there have been A LOT of changes this year for kids. These changes and uncertainty can bring up many different feelings. It is important to talk with your kids about how they are feeling. Let them know that their feelings are okay and normal. It is okay to share your feelings with your child and show them how to cope. For example, saying, “I feel worried about COVID sometimes too, so I make sure I wash my hands, wear my mask and take care of my body,”  can show them it is okay to feel worried and feel empowered by acting responsibly.

  1. Plan what you can

Ask them, “what was your favorite part of school?” If there will be changes to their favorite thing about school, have a discussion about it. This will help them prepare for that change. Ask, “What are you worried about when it is time to go back to school?” Encourage them to share their concerns to determine what areas they may need more support. Use a calendar to track the days leading up to returning to school to help reduce confusion.

As your family makes a back-to-school plan, keep in mind that we can experience more changes. However, with continuous communication and remembering what you can control, your family will become even more resilient.