Christine's Corner: Beginning School With Uncertainty
As we are now about a month into the school year, there are still very many unknowns that face our families. Many of us are in a constant state of anxiety and stress over what this school year will look like, especially our children. In her article 5 Things Your Kids May Be Worried This School Year, Dr. Chinwe Williams gives us some insight into the struggles that our children are internalizing as they walk into the classroom each day. She gives five different struggles and how we as parents can help our children navigate this feelings.
Back To Virtual Learning- whether it be because they have been exposed or because the whole school may have to do it, virtual learning is something that our children worry about having to do again and may not be able to verbalize. The anxiety is real and easing this fear for our children is necessary.
Fear of Large Groups-the fear of spreading the Delta variant is definitely on their minds as they gather back in school in large groups. But our children also fear the transition back to large groups after about a year and a half of not being in them. Making sure your child knows that you will go at their pace as much as possible when re-entering will help lessen this anxiety.
Worries Over Academics-repeatedly adapting to news ways of learning has been a struggle for some and will continue to be as they figure out how to "catch up" from a year and a half of just trying to make it. Help your child familiarize his/herself with everything about their class/classes so that they can be set up for success from the beginning.
Maintaining and Building Friendships-this has been a time of not being with friends, so for your child who may either have a hard time maintaining friendships or one that has entered a new school, helping them to navigate old and new friendships will be crucial as they find a sense of belonging.
How to Keep Themselves and Their Families Safe-and of course our children are worried about getting sick. They worry for themselves, as well as their families. Never minimize your child's feelings over their health, but help them find ways to cope with these anxieties.
And as you help your child/children cope with these struggles, remember to take time for yourself to lessen your anxiety and stress. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, light a candle. Take care of yourselves my friends.
To find out more about how to help your children with these five struggles, read the article on the Parent Cue website.
Some other very helpful articles about Back to School are:
6 Conversations to Have With Your Kids at the Start of the New Year