Tips for Going Back to School During COVID19
August 18, 2020
Be kind to yourself and to others.
Passing judgement is a way for people to balance their “moral compass.” It helps us to know what we like or do not like; what works for us and what does not. But when we use that judgement to shame or put others down for being different, we are only causing more stress and making things harder on ourselves. Try to remember that we are “all in the same storm, not the same boat.”
Plan in advance.
Unlike last March, parents and kids now have an opportunity to plan for working from home and/or remote learning. Manage your schedule around when your kids will need you – school/homework time, mealtime., etc. Then plan to have activities set up for your kids to play independently that do not include technology. This could look like puzzles, reading, chores, play-dates etc. Structuring out the day keeps everyone feeling more in control and focused. Tip: Manage everyone’s schedules on a large dry erase board and keep it in a common area. Updating this daily will help keep everyone on the same page.
Manage tech time.
It is easy to use technology as a babysitter, but research shows that too much tech can alter our brains and change our disposition. By cutting back on some of that extra screen time your kids have had for the past few months, will help to get their mindset ready for school again. An easy way to do this is to implement “tech hours” after responsibilities have been done for the day.
If your kid is having anxiety about going back to school, reassure your child about the safety measures being taken place to protect students and teachers. Also, remind them about the positives of being able to see their friends and learn new things. Lastly, remember they are watching and following your lead. If your anxiety is high, their anxiety will be too.
Reinstate bedtime and morning wake-up times.
It is a good practice to get back on a schedule at least a week or two before school starts. This will reduce the opportunity for power struggles and help your kids transition back into healthy sleeping patterns.
Reconnect with classmates you haven't seen over Summer.
If your child has not spent a lot of time with classmates over the Summer, organizing a responsible play date at a park or pool might be a good idea to help ease any social anxiety about returning to school.
Buy enough masks for each day of the week, and then buy some more masks.
Plan on masks getting left behind, lost, and dirty. To help with organization, leave a clean and dirty bin by the front door to allow for easy access to discard and pick up when needed. To help with losing masks, try a mask chain. You can buy one online or make your own with your kids.
Don’t forget to take time for self-care.
Breathe deep, go for walks, and keep to a realistic work schedule when possible. When you are always on, your system gets overwhelmed and exhausted. Just like you would for your kid’s sports or activities, add self-care onto your calendar and create a routine around it.