As our communities make the transition back to more in-person learning, I am seeing a ton of social media posts about “first day of full-time, in-person school.” Lots of us — kids and adults alike — are feeling enthusiastic about this shift.
While there is certainly room to celebrate this transition and all the hard work our communities have put into helping control the spread of COVID-19, this is also one more transition for our youth. While some kids look forward to this shift, others have found that remote learning feels pretty darn comfortable. This transition might create some worry or stress for them.
In the Colorado Spirit’s weekly wellness blog post last week, we started to touch on this transition and some techniques to support our youth. We wanted to speak a little more about this topic and provide additional tips for parents.
Prioritize time for you to do the things that help you be a supportive and calm presence for your child.
Research shows that if safe and dependable caregivers are available, children of all ages tend to manage change and stress with less difficulty. One of the most effective ways I can support my kids is by making sure I am doing all I can to be my best self in the moment.
For me, this means being mindful of my sleep and sometimes prioritizing getting to bed early over household chores or extra work. For a friend, her early morning sunrise walk is a priority and she works with her partner around kiddo responsibilities in the morning so she can walk more often than not. For others of us, this may look like setting boundaries or saying no to things.
Whatever this is for you, we cannot reiterate it enough: meeting your needs is one of the best ways you can support your kids!
We can’t “fix” how kids are feeling.
When our children are experiencing big emotions, it isn’t our job to make them go away. Instead, our role is to help them learn how to manage intense feelings.
One of the best ways to help kids with this is having parents who are coping with their own emotions in healthy ways. Not only does this help us as parents stay in a balanced space, it also models coping strategies for our kids.
Even when we as parents don’t manage our intense emotions as effectively as we may like, there is still a lesson there for kids about how emotional regulation is challenging and none of us is perfect at it. It takes work.
Continue to be mindful of overscheduling.
While parents and families might have fewer places to go during the pandemic, most of us are feeling busier than ever. This increased busyness adds to stress for us and our kids.
While many of us might feel tempted to add a few extra virtual activities to our kids’ schedules because we don’t have to factor in commute time, be aware that even though there might be enough hours in the day, the impact of additional activities may not be as beneficial as we hope.
Continue discussing realistic expectations for returning to in-person learning with your kids.
There will likely be times when kids engage in remote learning as schools navigate COVID exposure protocols. Knowing there may still be some periods of remote learning will help many kids navigate this uncertainty.
Keep focusing on your connection with your kids.
A consistent, loving, and supportive presence is the #1 most helpful thing you can do to help your child.
The transition back to in-person learning will not be the last change we support our kids through, and the Colorado Spirit Team at AllHealth Network is here for you!
Whether it is talking to our child specialist about what you are seeing in your kids or meeting with other parents in a support group session, the Colorado Spirit Team is here to be a support! If it would help to connect with someone, do not hesitate to reach out.
All our support is FREE. Please consider if one of our trainings, support groups, or drop-in sessions would be helpful. See our webpage for a complete calendar of events.
Connect with Us
- Call: (720) 707-6789
- Email: COSpirit@allhealthnetwork.org
- Webpage: www.allhealthnetwork.org/Colorado-Spirit
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/AHNColoradoSpirit
The Colorado Spirit team knows there are no easy solutions right now to the worry, sadness, grief, isolation, exhaustion, and anger you may be feeling. We hope connecting with us can help this time of uncertainty feel a little more tolerable.