Kids may have a lot of questions about returning to school as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted across Tennessee and the U.S. While many school districts have moved back to in-person learning, some larger districts have opted to keep a hybrid plan available or extend their virtual learning options for certain grade levels. The Tennessee Department of Education launched a back to school hub with all the information parents and guardians will need as students prepare to head back to school in a post pandemic world.
In the meantime, consider some of these tips from CCHMC to help children feel safe and prepared when school begins.
Be positive about the future.
· Stay calm
· Share how your family follows current safety guidelines.
· Show how your family will follow new safety guidelines.
· Embrace the new normal as a change to teach critical and new life skills like problem solving, adapting to change, and taking care of ourselves and others.
Create a schedule for the new normal.
· Daily routines can help children feel calm and prepared for eh day.
· Answer questions about the new safety rules at school.
· Talk about seeing friends and teachers again.
· Encourage your child to make the best personal decisions at school.
Talk with your child.
· Be honest and confident.
· Listen to your child’s fears and concerns.
· Share your own experiences.
· Answer questions with facts and ideas your child can understand.
· Explain that state and local leaders are working to make students safe.
Use language your child understands.
· Young children like to know what to expect. Discuss new routines, activities, and people they will see.
· Pre-adolescents like to ask detailed questions. Give reasons for the changes in school routines. Help them understand the difference between fact and rumors.
· Teens like to be included in decisions. Guide them to accurate sources of information. Help your child plan personal goals for schools and the future.