Despite the many questions, there is a lot we can do to encourage feelings of confidence and security as our children head into a new school year.
Sometimes the things we view as “little things” as adults, are often not so little to our children. When we take the time to talk about and practice the little things, it can make a big difference for whatever this school year may look like for your family.
Focus on What You Can Control
Whether classes will be held in-person, online or a hybrid of both will differ by school, it may help your child if you emphasize what they can control and what they can’t. They may not have control over how their school will open, but they can better prepare themselves by catching up on reading, practicing math and gathering supplies needed for school.
As parents, you should also model proper safety practices and praise your children when they are actively following themselves. Talk with your child about ways that the school will be following safety measures – from hand-washing to extra space between students and having everyone wear masks. If masks will be a part of your child’s day, be sure to practice wearing them before school begins so your child will feel more comfortable.
Empower You Child with Knowledge
Routines are comforting and empowering to children. Help your child to visualize and prepare for their new school year by talking about what school might look like. What the morning routine will be? And how school might look different than last year?
If your child will be learning at home, you might want to discuss what their typical day might be like with their teach over video? And where they will do their learning? It might even be helpful to designate a “learning space” in your home.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Back-to-School during a typical year is an adjustment, so you can expect this year to be no different. Change is inherently stressful, so finding simple ways you can support your child through this is important. Think about creating a checklist for your child emphasizing the importance of healthy eating, routine bedtimes, and time for play and exercise in their schedules.
If your child will be going to school, set aside time to practice mask wearing while watching a show or playing on a tablet to allow time for your child to get used to the look and feel of wearing one before school begins.
Share Your Excitement
Children read adults emotions to look for cues on how they should react. If you show excitement about their learning and hope for the school year, they will too. The year might look different, but remember your child will learn new skills, build new relationships and grow.