Tip of the Month: Mental Health & Social-Emotional Wellbeing Considerations When Going Back to School
Mental Health & Social-Emotional Wellbeing Considerations When Going Back to School:
Since the school experience will be very different from before with desks far apart from each other, teachers maintaining physical distance, and the possibility of staying in the classroom for lunch, it is unlike anything your child is used to. Before school is in session, you may want to talk to your child and explain that all these steps are being taken to keep everyone safe and healthy. The list below provides actions and considerations regarding your child’s mental health and emotional well-being as they transition back to in-person school. CDC’s Stress and Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic provides additional resources for you and your family. In addition, if your child seems to need mental health or behavioral services (e.g., social skills training, counseling), you may want to ask your school administrator for more information on these services.
- Talk with your child about how school will look different (e.g., desks far apart from each other, teachers maintaining physical distance, possibility of staying in the classroom for lunch).
- Talk with your child about how school is going and about interactions with classmates and teachers. Find out how your child is feeling and communicate that what they may be feeling is normal
- Anticipate behavior changes in your child. Watch for changes like excessive crying or irritation, excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, difficulty concentrating, which may be signs of your child struggling with stress and anxiety.
- Try to attend school activities and meetings. Schools may offer more of these virtually. As a parent, staying informed and connected may reduce your feelings of anxiety and provide a way for you to express any concerns you may have about your child’s school.
- Ask your school about any plans to reduce potential stigma related to having or being suspected of having COVID-19.
- You can be a role model for your child by practicing self-care:
Get plenty of sleep
Stay socially connected