Transitioning Back to School Post-Covid 2021by WFP Admin added on 29 September 2021, Comments Off on Transitioning Back to School Post-Covid 2021 , posted in Blog
Fellow parents and caregivers, brace yourself for yet another year of uncharted territory;
because it’s not the same as pandemics experienced before the internet and technology era
we currently navigate!
In-person school is more than academics to children; they learn invaluable social and
emotional skills, get exercise, and access support services. Transitioning back to in-person
school post-pandemic will look differently for everyone, but we all know “it takes a village”.
However, change is both a challenge and an opportunity to embrace for the better, not
worse. So below are some helpful tips to get your children transitioning back to school off
to a fresh start.
Suggestions for Transitioning
Below is a compilation of solutions to help children transition back to in-person school
post-pandemic or for the first time. Being aware of all the tips and sharing them with your
family and children can help make this transition smooth and beneficial for everyone.
Establish Scheduled Routines & Incorporate Connections
Establishing routines is the number one trusted tip for helping children with transitions, and no expert can stress it enough! Establishing Routines and sticking to a Schedule help provide comfort for kids during changes and uncertain times. Children benefit from being reminded of what is coming next because it helps develop their vocabulary and calms any confusing feelings.
Morning and Evening routines are essential, but it also helps to practice more minor details
they may find helpful unexpectedly. Things like opening lunch boxes and items inside, throwing trash away properly, putting on shoes, washing hands or using sanitizer, and knowing when to put on a mask, are a few examples of some more minor but powerful details to practice beforehand.
Getting your children on a scheduled routine encompassing exercise, socially connecting with others, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep goes a long way when school time comes around and daylight savings creeps in. Daily routines are essential to provide a positive, responsible reaction to the post-pandemic changes.
Incorporating breaks and mindful moments (i.e. meditation, sit and stare, or breathing exercises) between activities throughout the day will help them stay calm and anticipate the next transition.
Discussing Rules, Changes, & Expectations
Discussing Changes, Rules, and Expectations ahead of a big transition helps children anticipate and prepare for the coming change. Knowing what is coming next can eliminate surprises, frustrations and calm fears.
Reviewing rules is vital in transitioning back to school post-pandemic. Knowing new procedures, practicing them, and being prepared can help diminish some anxiety. Before school starts, it’s helpful getting children to spend time away from home or their caregivers. Creating a comfortable scheduled routine helps them to manage changes daily. Establishing a unique “good-bye” ritual can help them know it’s ok to go because they know you will be back; whenever you perform that ritual.
“My son and I say “good-bye, see you soon,” then we blow a kiss into the air, catch it, and put it next to our hearts for safekeeping, then I walk away.”
Have Supportive Conversations
The Adult-child relationship is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to working with young children. It’s important to start regular conversations with your children to find out about their fears, anxiety, or excitement and provide an opportunity for positive attention and descriptive feedback. It creates a safe space for them to become aware of their feelings and share their thoughts, so they aren’t holding everything in feeling confused and scared.
Sharing our own stories about overcoming fear or anxiety can help them feel less alone and provide them with tips on handling situations themselves. Conversing about their feelings can help parents and caregivers anticipate those nerves or tense situations and prepare ways to cope when they arise.
Reframing negative thoughts into positive ones is helpful in advance, or teaching
deep-breathing techniques when these feelings occur will arm them with the tools they need to succeed. Deep-Breathing sends signals to your brain that calms your body and lowers stress levels, which our children will need when these feelings come up, and we are not around to help them.
Be Present & Consistent – Flexible & Adaptive
Stability is crucial during times of change, so it’s important to try our best to be present, consistent, and predictable whenever possible. Being mentally flexible and ready to adapt to situations life throws our way is what children need, so we can take a back seat and let them lead. Meeting their reaction with compassion and calmness and showing them how we handle fears, stress, and responses throughout the day impacts how our children assess and react to their situation.
Our ability to support others, show compassion, understanding, handle stressful situations, and model good behavior is limited by our well-being, mentally and physically. We need to remember to practice and show ourselves Self-Compassion; we cannot be suitable for anybody if we are not good in mind, body, and spirit. Make sure you are carving out some personal time for decompressing activities and self-affirmation time. It’s essential nothing interferes with that sacred time.
Remember & Share
Schools are safe, stimulating, and enriching places for children to learn. Although transitions can be frustrating for families, especially young children, routines and predictability make many feel confident knowing what our day holds. Facing feared situations promotes resilience, reducing pressure in the long run by helping children realize they are capable of coping and know-how.
These tips will help you get your child ready for a successful transition and help you manage all of the pins in the air we juggle as caregivers!