Going back to school has always been hard. Leaving the lazy, fun summer days for a cold classrooms and new experiences? Scary stuff! Add to that the uncertainty of a global pandemic, and it’s understandable that your kids will worry. There are a few ways to help ease your kids’ back-to-school anxiety and make learning as fun as possible, whether they are actually going back to the classroom in the Corridor or studying online.
“Being honest with your children and creating an open dialogue, where both parent and child can share concerns, will lessen anxiety within the family,” said Gonzalo Perez-Garcia, M.D., psychiatrist with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital-Dallas, in a recent press release.
In addition to talking with your kids about what to expect this school year and how they can cope with changes, parents should also teach their kids how to wear a mask and practice at home. That way, it’s more normal when they get to school. Finally, stress and anxiety effect sleep, so parents should work hard to get their kids back on a normal sleeping schedule this semester.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, school aged children from 6-13 years old need 9-11 hours of sleep at night. TV, computers, the internet and caffeine can all lead to difficulty falling asleep or cause nightmares and disruptions to their sleep. Poor or inadequate sleep can also cause mood swings, behavioral problems and cognitive problems that can impact their ability in school.
Everyone is stressed right now, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck with feelings of anxiety. Talk to a psychiatrist at Texas Health Dallas or a local clinic to get the help you or your child needs to feel better and succeed this school year!