This year, your child's transition back to school will be unlike any other. As such, your child may experience a range of emotions as he/she begins the 2020-2021 school year, whether participating in person or remotely. To support your family, we will continue to provide resources and direct support to help your child adjust to their new learning environment and to help them manage their emotions. Upon your child's return to school, social-emotional learning will include:
-Classroom meetings and activities to re-establish relationships
-Modeling and practice with new safety protocols
-Establishing routines using Yale's Emotional Intelligence Program (RULER), such as using The Mood Meter
-Classroom lessons directed by the school psychologist
Please see the resources below to help with the transition back to school.
After reading through the articles below, here are a few tips that may help your child to manage his/her anxiety as they transition back to school:
1. Take time to ask your child how he/she feels and actively listen.
-Pick convenient times to check-in (i.e. at breakfast, in the car, at bedtime)
-Utilize tools such as The Mood Meter to help your child label their feelings
-Encourage and be honest, avoid too much false reassurance
-Observe any changes in behavior or physical symptoms (stomach aches, headaches) for signs of anxiety
2. Encourage your child to use healthy coping strategies.
-Such as, taking deep breaths, counting to 10, focusing on something positive, taking breaks.
3. Monitor your own anxiety.
-Feelings are contagious. You want to avoid pushing negative feelings onto your child.
-Naturally, your anxiety will be present. Use self-care strategies and model this to your child.
4. Start your back to school routine early.
-Your normal school routine has likely been disrupted since March.
-Start getting your child back into their routine now, including earlier bedtimes, earlier wake-ups, etc.
5. Have your child practice wearing a mask.
-This should include taking the mask on and off appropriately.
-Make it fun- role play!
6. Begin talking to your child about the changes they may see at school.
-Talk about what the bus, lunch room, etc may look like.
-Discuss the various safety measures that will be in place and why.
-Take advantage of any opportunities for open houses, meet and greets, etc.
7. Encourage flexible thinking and an open mind.
-Things may change quickly- and that's okay. We can handle it!
8. Focus on the positives!
-Help your child to reframe their thinking. "This may be different, but I will get to..."
9. Don’t do this alone! There are resources available to you at school and in the community.
Helpful Articles and Links for Parents
How to Help Kids Manage Back to School Anxiety
Managing Anxiety During Reopening
Managing Anxiety around COVID
How to Handle Anxiety Over Back to School Decisions
Supporting your child’s mental Health During COVID-19 School Return
5 Phrases to Say to Your Anxious Child
Do the 6! Safety Rap
Do the 6! Safety Rap
Wearing a Mask to School
Social Distancing Social Story (Print and customize)
Riding the Bus Will Be Different Social Story (Print and customize)
Why We Wear Masks Video
Time to Come In Bear Video