Helping Children Prepare to Return to In-Person School
How do we get kids prepared for going back to school in person?
- Check with local families whose children have been attending school in person, find out what a typical day looks like.
- Adjust the sleep schedule, have them go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier.
- Add more structure to their daily routine.
- Increase the workload, closer to what they may be expected to have in school.
- Encourage more independence
For younger kids, parents can use play to help their child understand and process the upcoming changes.
- Playing “school” with stuffed animals for classmates
- Review classroom rules or daily routine (compare and contrast with virtual or homeschooling)
- The family can all practice raising their hands to speak during dinner or to ask questions throughout their day or even ask permission to use the restroom (playfully).
- If masks will be required, practice wearing masks at home, gradually increasing the length of time.
- Practice frequent handwashing or use hand sanitizer to get them in the habit.
- Use visuals such as marking on the calendar when the return date is and making a schedule for before and after school.
- Allow the child to bring a transitional object to school, something small to avoid disruption or distraction in class.
Common behaviors and feelings you might notice in your child during the transition back to school are:
- sadness, crying
- irritability, mood swings
It is always a great idea to check in with your child, find a quiet time and validate these feelings, and of course, offer lots of hugs and cuddles.
If after a few weeks your child is still struggling and the above symptoms are intensifying, it might be time to find extra support for your child. The counselor at school or private counseling support are options that are available.
CONTACT ME if you are in the South Florida area and would like more information about my services.