Posted Aug 20, 2021
The dog days of summer are winding down. It won’t be long before school bells are ringing. This time of year can create a mixed bag of emotions – sadness over the end of summer and a combination of excitement and anxiety about the new school year. This year those feelings may be even more intense.
Children and parents are worn out from more than eighteen months of coping with the Co-Vid pandemic and the disruptions it caused to children’s education and emotional/social development. Now, we face another year of safety protocols and uncertainty as the Delta variant surges.
How do we help our children navigate 2021 version of back-to-school season? Experts offer these tips to facilitate a positive start to the school year
- Start adjusting schedules and routines to prepare for the school schedule – bedtimes, meal times, exercise, household tasks, etc.
- Review basics of staying safe with your children now including proper handwashing, bathroom hygiene, disposing of used tissue, and not sharing food or drinks with others. Remind your child that staying safe and healthy is about protecting yourself and those around you.
- Educate yourself about CoVid-19 so you may respond to your child’s questions and concerns with honest and accurate information. (There are links to resources below.)
- Familiarize yourself with your school’s safety protocols so you can prepare your child for what is expected of them. If you haven’t been wearing masks and school will require them, have your child start wearing one for set time periods now. Show them what 3 feet and 6 feet look like using already known settings or objects.
- If possible, attend a school orientation, tour, or teacher meet and greet so you and your child are familiar with the school environment before school starts. Friendly faces and recognizing the space can lessen first day jitters.
- Read all communications from the school so you are aware of any changes to policies and practices. Establish a relationship with your child’s teacher early on so you both feel comfortable sharing concerns about your child’s adjustment. You share the common goal of wanting your child to have a successful school year.
- Be available. Ask your child open-ended questions about how they are feeling. Listen and acknowledge their feelings – both positive and negative. Don’t try to talk them out of negative feelings. Instead, offer possible solutions. Work through it with them.
- Be aware of changes in your child’s behavior or patterns. Changes in sleep and eating patterns, frequent physical complaints, mood swings, obsessing over school or refusing to talk about it may be signs that common back-to-school jitters have become anxiety. Don’t assume it will fade away. Reach out to your pediatrician or school counselor for help and resources.
- Be a role model. Take care of yourself and demonstrate positive ways to manage stress and change.
For more information –
|The Shorewood Public Library is committed to helping our community and staff stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Our strategies include requiring masks for visitors 2 years and older regardless of vaccine status, HEPA filtration units, hand sanitizing stations, physical distancing, and limited chairs. At this time, we are not able to accommodate after-school student groups looking for a place to study or socialize. For updates on our safety protocols, programs and services, visit our website|