A Brief Guide to Transitioning Back Into School
As we all know, we are living in unprecedented and uncertain times. Being out of school and out of familiar routines for 6+ months certainly takes a toll. Our kids need us to guide them back into a structured lifestyle. Below are a few tips to assist our children during these unsettling times.
Acknowledge and Accept
We need to tell our kids that all feelings are ok. We can model this by saying to them “ I feel ______, and that’s ok. We will get through this together.”
Be Calm and Provide Facts
We need to provide our kids with facts based on their own developmental levels and personality traits. When we remain calm and share pertinent information it shows that we know they can handle it.
Talk About Separation
Tell your kids that it has been really special being home together all this time and we have built a bond that won’t be broken. Starting school again will be hard but we will set aside special 1:1 time to reconnect and to talk about our days.
Discuss the School’s Protocols
List what will look and feel different in the school building. Knowing these changes ahead of time will help ease some anxiety. In addition, despite personal opinions, families should embrace the new protocols and emphasize that they are in place to keep us safe.
Emphasize Structure and Routine
Bottom line is our kids need structure especially with so many moving parts. It is a good idea to use a family calendar as a visual aid. It’ll help the whole family keep track of carpools, extra curricular activities (zoom or in person), homework,etc. However, while implementing routine, we can also use this as a teaching moment about being flexible in the event that things change once again.
Focus on Self- care and Self- compassion
Even as adults, we may be finding it difficult to cope. However, in order to be the best parents we can be, we need to find ways to take care of ourselves and to destress. It is also important to not be overly critical of ourselves now as this is new for all of us and we are all trying our best.
Great success comes from Resilience
We need to show our children how far we’ve come and how much we’ve overcome together. Reflect on the positives, such as ample family time or new skills built, etc. Hopefully, despite all the uncertainties that we face, this positive attitude will help lay the groundwork for a successful school year.