In a few short weeks, millions of American children will be going back to school to something very unfamiliar. Due to the novel COVID-19 virus, schools will look, sound and be different from what they have been used to. And while where your child goes to school will determine how the classroom will look, there are a few likely scenarios that will include wearing face coverings and social distancing.
The start of the 2020-2021 school year will bring with it more unknowns for students, teachers and parents, which will also bring about many fears. This is natural and is to be expected. It is important, however, for parents to be calm in the storm as you get your child ready to go back to school. Here are some ways to ease the transition during this tumultuous time of COVID-19.
There are so many negative things floating around because there are so many COVID-19 unknowns. Our world is trying so hard to figure out how to best combat this virus, and it is important to let your children know that we are all doing our part. Even if you have your reservations about how things are being handled, put those issues aside for the sake of letting your child resume some sort of normalcy at school with their teachers and friends.
Perhaps have your child choose a mask that fits their style, or a few to fit several different styles. Masks are commonplace right now, and it is not difficult to find some that are stylish and affordable.
While being positive is a wonderful thing, it is also important to balance that out with honesty. If you are concerned that the changes due to COVID-19 will affect the way your child acts in the classroom, have that conversation with your child and his or her teacher. If you find that things aren’t working well as the weeks and months go on, be honest with yourself and make a change.
With many schools still offering online options, your child may very well be able to learn from the comfort of home, if that is necessary and a viable option. If your school does not offer an online option, and your child is not thriving in school, there are many homeschool and online options available regardless. You do have the power and ability to make the changes that will be best for you and your child.
Listen to COVID-19 Concerns
While you may very well have your concerns, so will your child. It is important to give them a voice in this. After all, it will be your child who will be attending school, not you. Take time often to ask your child how he or she is doing and listen to what they have to say about the changes due to COVID-19.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you think that the first time your child wears a mask will be the first day of school, you might want to rethink that. Just like anything, wearing a mask is something that is going to take some getting used to.
Take some time now before school starts to have your child practice wearing a face mask. Perhaps have them do some coloring, writing, or work on the computer while wearing a mask so that come school-time, it will not be such a hard thing to do. If you do, your teachers might even send you a bouquet of thank-you flowers for your efforts.
Educate Yourselves on COVID-19
You are living at a time in history that will be spoken of for years to come. Take this time to learn about the current events that make this time unique. Use reputable sources to find facts about the COVID-19 virus and how it is spread. Study what role masks and social distancing plays in hindering the spread and keep current on what actions your local and national leaders are taking.
Knowledge has always been powerful, so take this time to help your child gain knowledge as he or she transitions to the place where more knowledge is collected.
Have Your Child Keep a Journal
With so many unknowns, and so many emotions associated with the unknown, it is important for kids to have a safe place to express those feelings. A journal is a healthy way to share what’s going on in your life, and how you feel about what’s happening. Encourage your child to keep a journal to write down worries about the coming school year, and even as the school year begins and progresses.
And who knows? Years from now, your child may very well help write the history books that will include the year that was 2020. If your child needs help processing their feelings around this school year make an appointment today!