With back-to-school butterflies just around the corner, you may have started to notice a mixture of feelings arising for your child—and yourself. Whether this summer was deemed the best one ever or fell short due to restrictions that remain from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s normal if you and your child are feeling apprehensive about the school year ahead.
Last year, instead of planning playdates and scheduling carpool sessions, the burning question among kids, parents, and teachers alike were whether you were signed up for remote learning, in-person schooling, or the hybrid model. So, as you prepare for the year ahead, remember that some of the anxieties you are feeling are purely an instinctual response to protect and care for your child.
Preparing your child for the school year ahead will depend on the model of learning your child will be starting, or returning to, but here we’ll be focusing on how parents can encourage a smooth transition for their children as they embark on in-person schooling.
As you gear up to hear the chimes of those exhilarating morning bells and double (and triple) check that their little shoes are all laced and tied, you can breathe easier knowing your child will be made to feel welcomed and protected by the safety measures put in place by their dedicated school system. Many schools are implementing specific safety protocols that will help keep your child safe and cared for during this time of transition. These safety measures may vary depending on the size and age range of your school system but will generally include:
(Mayo Clinic, 2020).
While the school system works hard to ensure the safety and well-being of its students and staff, keep in mind that your involvement can also encourage a smooth transition for your child. Although not present with your children in the classroom or on the blacktop at recess, there is a multitude of ways you can help prepare your child for the school year ahead and ease some of those first-day jitters.
Whether apprehensive about your child starting school for the very first time, returning to in-person schooling after the pandemic, or kicking the school year off in a new location, it’s normal to feel a bit anxious. Sure, the concept of school can feel a smidge overwhelming at first, but once you and your child establish an effective routine you’ll find that packing up their lunchbox and signing those permission slips have become second nature.
Hoffses, K. (Ed.). (2018, August). Back to School (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth. KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/back-school.html.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, October 7). How to prepare kids for school reopening during COVID-19. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/returning-safely-to-school-covid-19/art-20490441.