The school year is officially in full swing, but after months of online classes, your child may be having a hard time adjusting to the classroom. Covid-19 can certainly make the back-to-school season more difficult, but for many children, fitting in and excelling in school was tough enough even without a global pandemic. If your child is having a hard time adjusting, psychology professor Christopher A. Kearney has some tips for getting kids back on track.
Establish a morning routine
Online classes reduced the need for a strong morning routine because who really cares if your child is logging on in their pajamas? However, as we return to school, the chaos of packing lunches, coordinating carpools, and making sure everyone has brushed their teeth can be stressful. Get your child used to waking up early and sticking to a routine again by giving them a list of tasks to get done before they leave the house each morning.
Seek out academic help
Many kids fell behind academically during campus shutdowns, so it’s important to identify areas where they need support and address them right away. Talk with your child’s teacher about subjects they may be struggling in and get the extra help through additional practice work, tutoring, or a homework club.
Refresh social skills
Taking a year off from socialization during critical development years might have left your child feeling more shy or anxious in social situations. Address this by identifying coping techniques your child can use if they feel overwhelmed. This can include breathing exercises, meditation, or maybe a new sport or activity to boost their confidence.
Identify lingering traumas
Every child has experienced the pandemic differently, and for children who went through isolation or the loss of a loved one, the return to school may be more difficult. Talk with your child about their fears and concerns surrounding returning to school and consider asking their school counselor about mental health resources at their disposal to make the transition easier.