As students begin to return to the classroom, stress and anxiety can also come along for many students and parents alike. After more than a year of remote learning, this “new normal” can be overwhelming. This anxiety is normal and completely understandable, but we want to share some ways to help.
Be Patient and Supportive.
The pandemic took a toll on students academically, emotionally, and mentally. This new school year will bring upon new challenges for everyone, and giving your students time to adjust will help ease them in. Listening to your student and validating their feelings will show understanding and empathy while also building trust.
Prepare and Communicate.
One of the biggest stressors is uncertainty, and in a time where the situation can change by the day, it helps to be prepared. It is important to talk with your student about possible changes to their routine, such as shifting back to online learning. This will allow time and flexibility to adjust. One tip is to create parts of a routine that will not change on short notice, such as packing a lunch or having breakfast. This gives students a feeling of being in control of some aspects and eases anxiety.
Monitoring your student’s behavior will help gauge how their return to school is going. If you notice that something may be off, check-in with your student. Anxiety can cause students to act differently, such as being closed off and withdrawn.
Take Care of Yourself.
Take the time and assess how you are doing. Practice self-care and make sure you’re in the right state to support others. Know your limits and know when it is time to take a step back and take a break. This goes back to the first tip, and have patience with yourself.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that things could change in an instant. The pandemic also shined a light on how resilient students can be. To adjust to such a drastic change and carry on is something to commend. Let students know that what they have been able to accomplish in adversity is something to admire. Feelings are contagious. If students can sense you’re stressed, they will be stressed too—the same works with an optimistic attitude.