Both Miami-Dade and Broward County Schools are scheduled to reopen this upcoming week. Parents are facing a new to-do list in getting their children ready for school. Children have to adapt to new routines, learn new school regulations, handle awkward social situations, and cope with worries and/or feelings of anxiety.
Along with the average school list of paper, pens and pencils, students will also have to be equipped with masks and hand sanitizer. Social skills they learned will need to be modified to protect them from possible risks to their health and safety.
Here are 8 tips parents can use in preparing their children for school:
- Be their role model. Your children look up to you. If you stay calm and collected they will feel reassured that it is safe to go back to school.
- Be aware of your tone and concerns for COVID-19. Your discussions can increase or decrease their fears. Remember that little ears are always listening and our kids tend to adopt our own fears and concerns.
- Explain social distancing which is keeping a safe space 2 arm lengths (6ft per CDC guidelines ) between you and other people to reduce their risk of getting sick. Make it a game, pick up objects that are 6 feet apart so they get a sense of how far that is.
- Practice deep breathing exercises with your child. This is a valuable tool in calming the nervous system. Youtube is a great resource to look up different breathing exercises.
- Focus on the positive.
- Openly talk to your children about the current state of our nation.
- Allow your children to openly ask you questions and foster a conversation so they come to you for accurate information. Correct any misinformation they may have heard.
- Be aware of your child’s mental health. Children will manage well with the support and care of loved ones.
Please keep in mind that despite all the practice and preparation that you may have with your kids, that there may be times in which the stress around them can affect their behavior. Should you notice that your child is exhibiting significant changes in behavior for more than 2 weeks, please contact a trained therapist. We are available to assist you during this new and challenging transition process.