With the recent announcement of return-to-school plans many children and parents are feeling a heightened amount of stress during this uncertain time. A teacher, a parenting coach and a doctor gave some helpful suggestions for you to help your child prepare for September. >> Read part 2 of this two-part series
6 ways to prepare your kids for school during a pandemic
1. Get them excited
Advice from a kindergarten/grade one teacher (Amy Tekatch, teacher at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary)
There will be a lot of fun and exciting things for them to do and learn. Things will be different, but they are going to get to see their friends and teachers again.
All of my colleagues and I are so looking forward to seeing our students again, Mrs. Tekatch said. We have all missed our students and teaching so much!
2. Explain the truth to them (simply)
Children thrive when they know the simple facts — explain what school might look like and talk about what they are and are not allowed to do. There will be different rules when it comes to sharing toys and supplies and how close they can get to other students — explain why.
Tell them some students may have hidden germs, so that’s why we can’t share things or hug our friends right now — we don’t want to get sick.
3. Read books with them
To help reduce your child’s anxiety there are a lot of great books you can read with them:
- The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
- The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
- The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
4. Try to put your own feelings aside
It’s really important that you try to put your own feelings of anxiety and stress to the side so your child doesn’t pick up on them. A lot of the times when a child is anxious their parents are also anxious. Even though your concerns are completely valid, try not to let your feelings affect your children.
5. Practice mindfulness
Advice from a Parenting and Education Coach (Jennie Abbot, founder of Harmony Kids Yoga)
The key to reducing stress, fear and anxiety in your kids during this time is by bringing mindfulness into your home. Mindfulness is the act of practicing a moment by moment awareness of how you are feeling while observing your thoughts and bodily sensations. You can then learn to respond to your feelings in healthy and positive ways.
6. Create a mindfulness corner
Create a mindfulness corner with some items for your child, such as a breathing ball, sensory objects and relaxation tools like an eye pillow, a weighted blanket and guided relaxations.
Kera is a full-time mom with three kids. She lives in the suburbs of Vancouver and recently started Kids Cuddles Coffee, a ‘mommy-news’ blog. She loves going on adventures with her kids all over the Lower Mainland. She has a passion for writing and the news. Before becoming a mom she worked at CBC radio and at a local newspaper. Follow her on Instagram @kidscuddlescoffee