Some parents anxious as kids head back to school: Tips from a psychologist

Tamara Scott Image
Monday, August 9, 2021
Some parents anxious about return to school for kids during pandemic
Doctors say start now with a routine.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- We are now less than two weeks away from the start of the traditional calendar school year in North Carolina.

With children 11 and under unable to get vaccinated, anxiety is growing for some parents.

You need books and pencils for the start of school but doctors also recommend having a sit down with your kids to talk though any anxieties or worries they may have going back to school.

Jessica Sheckler never holds back in bragging about her kids while working at her salon.

But this year, like so many other parents, going back to school looks and feels different for her.

Her 9-year-old son Kingston excelled in virtual learning last year.

"Because he is so fast he could get his work done. He's super smart so he can get his work done and he'll be like, 'what now? I can go jump on the trampoline. I can have a snack.' He didn't have to worry about getting in trouble," she said.

Her 11-year-old Zoe is the opposite

"She needs that social interaction to kind of bring her to people. She wasn't really good online because she just kind of sat there and wouldn't speak up," she said.

So Jessica worries how they'll adjust going back.

Dr Robin Gurwitch says a lot of changes can impact the learning process.

"We know it affects their attention and concentration in their ability to learn new information their ability for flexible thinking and problem-solving," said Gurwitch.

Jessica wants to avoid more changes.

So if you are worried or they are worried what should you do?

Gurwitch says start now with a routine, let thy children have a voice in what they do when they get home, have schedules with visual aids, talk with them about what is going on with the masks.

"I have seen absolutely that children are more worried and anxious but the parents can talk to them and model for them how to address masks why we wear masks and what is their role giving them some sense of control," Gurwitch said.

Dr. Gurwitch says to be diligent about talking with your kids everyday and listening to their needs. Some nerves are okay but seek professional help if it worsens.