After over 1.5 years of closed schools and online learning, children have finally started returning to schools for offline learning. And it’s nothing like going to school after a vacation, rather the feelings are quite opposite. Many kids are excited to resume school offline with their friends but some are anxious about this change. Many parents too are concerned to send their children to crowded schools in a world where the pandemic isn’t yet over. How should a parent navigate the school reopening? What should they keep in mind as children go to school after months of the pandemic? Read on to know how you and your children can deal with this.

1. Open & Honest Conversations
Talking with your child about the school reopening and their feelings about it is the first and foremost thing every parent should do. It is important to listen to children and quell whatever queries or doubts they have.

2. Explain the rules
The reopening of schools is a sign that the world is recovering from the pandemic but it is still not over. COVID-19 vaccines have yet not been authorised for younger children and thus it is even more important to explain and ask them to follow the safety precautions – wearing masks, social distancing etc.

3. Prepare for change
When children go back to school, it is not going to be like what it was before the pandemic. Physical distancing norms will make classroom interactions different from what they were prior. Children might have to be wearing masks all the time. Parents should discuss and explain these changes with their child so that the child is relatively unbothered by the change in the school environment.

4. Have a schedule
Try to build a regular routine for yourself and your kids once school begins. This will give your children a sense of structure throughout the day and make the transition to full-time school a tad bit easier.

5. Give them time
For pre-schoolers or primary school students, this might be the first time they will be attending school offline. Even for older kids, this is a huge shift. Thus, it is natural for them to get overwhelmed and might result in some difficult behaviour for some time. It is important to give them a bit of time and space to get used to offline schooling again. However, if your child continues to behave differently than usual for longer than a few weeks, it is advisable to seek professional help from the school’s counsellor, a paediatrician or another medical professional.

While we’re all looking forward to establishing the new ‘old normal’ again, we must remember that it is going to be a huge change for young children. We must do whatever we can to ensure a smooth transition and support the kids while they deal with it.
October 22, 2021 — Amc Tinglabs