Tips to support your kids this school year
Whether your children returned to school in the classroom, online or both this fall, changes related to COVID-19 may cause them to face some difficult emotions. Use these tips to help support your students as they navigate an unprecedented year.
Listen. It's important not to assume you know what your children think or feel. Their experience may be different than yours. Take time to tune in to how your kiddos are processing current events.
Validate. Regardless of how closely your kids' emotions reflect your own, ensure they feel heard. Do they have questions? Substantiate them by helping your child find answers.
Focus. Some students may feel powerless in many areas of their life right now. Encourage them to take control of what they can, such as setting up a dedicated workstation at home or getting organized.
Cope together. It's often easier for kids to regulate their emotions when they have help, so make time to do things together. Some strategies include taking a walk, cooking a nutritious meal, playing a game or simply being more intentional about giving extra hugs and high fives.
While living through a pandemic presents challenges, know that working through these trying times is helping your student build greater resilience. As they overcome difficulties, your kids will have more strength and confidence moving forward.
Note: If your students' emotional experience is interfering with school or other important parts of their life, contact their pediatrician or a mental health therapist for additional support. If they're having trouble adjusting to virtual learning, reach out to your children's teachers sooner than later. Resources may exist to help them.