GOING back to school can be tough for both parents and students.
But this year is extra difficult.
Whether your child is going to do remote learning or their school is in-person, the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has made all of us readjust.
If you are not staying on top of your own mental health, you won’t be able to be there for your child.
Take a look at these simple, helpful tips on how to manage your mental health during back to school season.
Tackle uncertainty head on
Between sanitising and masks, there is a lot of new things that your child will have to get used to.
Prepare your child by coming to terms with the fact that everything won’t always run smoothly.
For instance, a Covid-19 exposure could lead to a brief return to remote learning.
Educators are also adjusting to this new reality too and so there will be some complications.
Be patient and flexible and understand that everyone is trying their best.
Keep in close contact with your kids and school
Stay in the loop about any new changes that your child should be aware of.
By getting as much information as possible, you can decrease everyone’s anxiety.
If something does change, find a calm and careful way to talk to your child.
The Covid-19 protocols can be complicated.
It’s up to you to first understand the protocols thoroughly so you can explain them.
Check in on your own mental and physical health
Too often, parents feel like they have too little time to tend to their own needs.
But you need to be your best self to be there for your child.
After your kids go off to school or log onto their zoom class, do something that you find relaxing.
Go on a run, read your favourite book or meditate.
It could be as simple as taking a walk around the block.
Whatever it is, it’s okay to do what makes you happy.
Let your kids express themselves
We’re all dealing with a whirlwind of emotions.
As a parent, it’s up to you to encourage your kids to communicate with them in an appropriate, effective manner. The Covid-19 pandemic made many of us fearful and anxious.
But it doesn’t have to weigh us down.
Remind your child that it’s okay to not feel okay and that there’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” emotion.
We’re all figuring this out together.
Seek extra support
You’re going through a lot.
Though you should be available for your children, you can’t do it all on your own. If your child has special needs such as ADHD or autism, join a parent support group to discuss constructive strategies.
This has been a overwhelming adjustment.
Don’t be afraid to seek extra support from family and friends and consider trying out online counselling to support your mental health.
These past 18 months have been tough for parents, children and educators.
Together, everyone can come up with helpful strategies to mitigate stress and anxiety.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, just remember the tips mentioned above and seek extra support.
The resources are out there and there’s no hurdle you can’t overcome.