Published August 28, 2020
In some areas, the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are slowly being lifted. Whether or not kids should be physically back in school has been a hot topic debate.
While educators have done everything in their power to make returning to the classroom safe and fun (see how we’ve done it here!), some children are still anxious about returning to in-person lessons.
You can help ease your children’s anxious minds and empower them to enjoy their return to the excitement of school. Here’s how.
Label Their Fears
The first step to helping your children overcome their anxiety is to determine what their fears actually are and help them label those fears
It would be easy to assume children’s anxiety due to COVID-19 and leave it at that, but their discomfort may be caused by something totally different. It may be general back to school anxiety that has nothing to do with the pandemic. And if it is due to the pandemic, what exactly are they afraid of? Are they afraid they’re going to get sick? Are they afraid they’re going to get someone else sick? Or maybe they’re scared because school looks a lot different post-pandemic than it did last year.
Once you get to the bottom of what their fears are, you can work to help alleviate them.
Discuss the School’s Safety Measures
If your child’s fears are centered around going back to school in the middle of a pandemic, it’s okay to tell them that their fears are valid.
But you can also help them to feel a little more comfortable by going over all of the safety measures that the school is taking to make sure they’re safe.
Understanding how the school is working to keep children safe and healthy should help them to believe they in good hands.
Empower Your Child With Their Own Safety Measures
Even with the school’s safety measures in place, there are likely things that your child can do to feel a little safer.
Knowing their health is in their control can help children feel more confident. Can come up with one or two things your child can do to feel a little more comfortable, like reminding them to wash their hands at every break or giving them an extra mask as a backup.
Even if your plan seems unlikely to make a major difference to you, your child may benefit from feeling in control.
Try to Keep COVID Talk Away from Kids
Obviously we don’t want to lie or hide things from our kids, especially if they’re older. But trying to minimize the amount of news or conversation they’re hearing about the current situation can reduce the amount of stress they might be feeling.
Giving your children short, factual updates and talking to them, rather than talking about it at length with others in front of them or leaving the news on will ensure they are informed, but not panicked.
As our children venture into a different type of school situation, there are a lot of things that we can do to make them feel more comfortable. If your child is feeling apprehensive you can use the steps above to try and calm their anxieties around going back to school.Tags: children afraid of school, classroom safety, COVID safety schools, COVID schools, COVID talk kids, hand washing, post-pandemic school, school safety