Whether you have concerns for your child’s academic or emotional well-being, or both, you are most likely feeling the same as I am - happy to hear that most schools are planning some type of reopening for the 2020-21 school year. You may also be feeling inundated with information on the merits and drawbacks to reopening. The advice is so endless, it can sometimes be difficult to know where our focus should be.
Regardless of the area in which your child struggles, their fears and anxieties, and our concerns for their emotional well-being, are very real. Perhaps some of the best advice I have come across can be found at the Child Mind Institute. Here we find them frequently encouraging parents to help our children focus on what we can control. There are simply some aspects to our lives that we cannot control, and this is especially true during the transition back to work and school. Acknowledging to our children that we don’t have all the answers and that everyone is in the same uncertain position can help build life skills that can benefit them in years to come.
If you are parents of teenagers, you may be experiencing a whole different array of difficulties, but the anxiety is no less real. Again The Child Mind Institute provides great advice on helping out teens transition back to school. The two points of advice I try to apply to talking with my teenagers are to hear them out and to guide them to gain information from trusted sources. I have found that one of the best ways to build trust with my teens is to really listen to their concerns, fears, and viewpoints. Because our teens are so electronically connected, they have endless opportunities to gain information on current events. Often these sources are misleading at best, dishonest at worst. By really hearing our teens out and guiding them to good sources for accurate information, we are again helping them build life skills that will help them navigate current and future situations.
Ultimately, it is important to remind our children that this situation is temporary, there will be an end at some point, and that everyone is navigating the uncertainty as best they can. Showing positivity and confidence, even if we are not totally feeling it, can be key to helping ease the path of returning to school.
Blogger Lisa Bruns, M.Ed., Special Education, shares her expertise of students with learning disabilities. As a special educator, she has expert knowledge of interventions and accommodations that students may need to succeed in and out of the classroom. If you have questions, please contact Center Director Lisa Bruns at .