Back To School, Coronavirus, Covid 19, Covid School, Students, Mental Health, Parenting

Back To School, Coronavirus

'It's OK to not be OK': How to help kids cope with COVID-19 school stress

'It's OK to not be OK': How to help kids cope with COVID-19 school stress

2020-08-14 11:45:00 AM

'It's OK to not be OK': How to help kids cope with COVID-19 school stress

From the social pressures of being sorted into class cohorts to fears about bringing the novel coronavirus back home, experts say returning to school will likely provoke some anxiety for students of all ages.

SHAREIt's normal for kids to get back-to-school butterflies as the bell ring draws near. But on top of the familiar concerns about fitting in and getting good grades, kids need to deal with a new set of stresses this fall as they head back to class in the thick of a pandemic.

COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the 5 most recent wars combined Coronavirus Update: Tam says Canadians must limit socializing or else face sharp spike 'Ain't no basic batch': Kraft Dinner launching pumpkin spice mac and cheese

For advice on how to help children cope, The Canadian Press spoke to Ashley Miller, a child psychiatrist at BC Children's Hospital, and Nikki Martyn, program head of early childhood studies at University of Guelph-Humber. Stick to the program

After months of learning at home away from their friends, school might seem like a scary place for many kids afraid of catching the virus or infecting their relatives, Miller said.However, a child's distress can't dictate the family plan.She said parents can try to alleviate their children's concerns by assuring them that there's a plan in place to keep them safe, and their participation is a crucial part of it.

"There's lots of ways we can get kids involved, and they have a bit more of a sense of control."She suggested parents help their children get a head start over the summer by practising how to catch up with classmates from a two-metre distance, or picking out a mask that will make them the envy of all their friends.

Martyn said such preparation will also help children settle into their new COVID-19 school schedule."Children really love and thrive on a routine," Martyn said. "It's important that when school starts again, we set up routines ... to help provide structure for your child and try to reduce stress."

 Recognize the symptoms of stressMartyn said parents should keep an eye out for changes in mood and behaviour that may suggest their children are suffering from undue stress.Signs can include excessive handwashing, self-soothing habits such as thumb sucking and uncharacteristic emotional outbursts, she said.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek help from a family doctor or mental health professional, Martyn said. Stay in school, kidsMiller expects many kids will come up with creative ways to get out of class come September, a problem that's known as school avoidance.

Emergency physicians worry combination of COVID-19 and flu season will overwhelm system Canada sees 1,241 new coronavirus cases as worries of a second wave grow Trump expands ban on U.S. spending for some diversity training programs

Young children may complain of phantom maladies as an excuse to skip school. It's important to acknowledge these ailments as real, even if they're emotionally rooted, she said. But once you've ruled out COVID-19, the goal should be to lead kids back to the classroom.

This may prove to be a greater challenge for young adults who can protest "with their feet," Miller said. It may be useful to remind teenagers of the reasons why they'd want to be at school with their friends rather than staying home under parental supervision.

 Making the grade during COVID-19Research suggests that heightened anxiety can interfere with academic performance, Miller said, so getting straight As shouldn't be the focus for kids this semester."Everyone's going have to be on board for taking care of the kids' emotional well-being so that learning can get underway."

She said that means school curricula will have to take a back seat to the more important lessons of trusting teachers and following safety protocols.If parents notice a dip in their children's report cards, Miller urged them to remember that a negative COVID-19 test is the most important measure of success.

The kids will be all right, but parents and teachers need to be tooChange is always hard, Miller said, but people of all ages are adaptable, and in many ways, kids are more so than anyone else.She noted that kids take emotional cues from the adults around them, so it's important that parents and teachers project confidence in public health leadership, even if they harbour private reservations.

For better or worse, we're all in this together, Martyn said, so everyone has a role to play in looking out for children's best interests."The nice thing would be if we go in with openness and understanding and try our best, recognizing that we're all going to fail a little bit and we're all going to learn a little bit in the end."

How Trump’s attacks on science led to over 200,000 dead from coronavirus Coronavirus numbers are surging in Canada. But who’s getting sick and why? Mapping out Canada’s COVID-19 hotspots: new modelling shows where cases are rising

 There's no 'right' answerMiller recognizes that parents face a difficult choice in weighing the anxieties of returning to school against the emotional strain and social isolation of home-schooling.Those decisions should be guided by the advice of public health officials, the prevalence of the virus in the community, the family's risk factors and the child's individual needs.

"There's no perfect answer for everybody," Miller said, noting medical professionals can offer advice to help figure out what's best for your family. It's OK to not be OKMartyn said one of the most important things parents can do to help their children cope with back-to-school stress is assure them that their feelings are normal, and even share some of their own.

"The kids need to know that it's OK to not be OK," she said. "(They need to) know that they're not alone, and they can count on you and you'll always be there for them."She said the key is to support them through their struggles so they can make it to the other side stronger than before.

"We're teaching children the important skill of resilience," she said. "They'll learn that they can persevere and get through difficult, stressful circumstances." Read more: CTV News »

Trudeau announces cash for loans, support to Black Canadian entrepreneurs

Black Canadians who want to start or expand a business will have access to loans and supports for training and mentorship under a new federal program unveiled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Toronto Wednesday.

Start by telling the parents to log off social media and turn the news off. Then inform them they are more likely to die from a school bus accident or the flu then die from covid dobetterparents Please it's the kids that have to calm their snowflake parents. Start by not normalizing putting a muzzle on them

All Teachers Should Be Tested Before Classes Resume: Alberta’s Top DoctorAlberta has approximately 90,000 teachers and school staff in the province A test for a deadly Flu with a %99 survival rate 😄😂

Trampoline Parks, Dance Studios Offer Alternative Classrooms In AlbertaThe province has said it will not limit class sizes to align with COVID-19 protocols. Nope Ridiculous but they’re closed

'It's a no-win situation': These parents won't be sending their kids back to schoolFrom concerns about class sizes to contracting COVID-19, some parents across Canada will not be sending their children back to school this fall. I think Sweden did it right, and those parents are pushing their own children back in the formative years of cognitive development. Everyone should go back to school or work and stop 🛑 the media propaganda Everyone has their own opinion on this if some people want to keep their kids home let them. If others want to send them let them. Everyone has a choice no one’s choice is right or wrong so don’t let parents feel bad one way or the other it’s sickening that I try 2 diveded us.

'My number's on the internet': B.C. premier asks celebrities for help spreading COVID-19 messageBritish Columbia's premier is calling on the province's most famous residents to help spread the word about how to stop the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in B.C. 99.98%ish survivability rate per capita. Scamdemic 🙄 celebrities, our health experts now?

5 new COVID-19 cases in Sask.; 20 more recoveriesThe Government of Saskatchewan reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Since CTV wont report this Casedemic !

Alberta records 121 new cases of COVID-19, 1 new death on WednesdayAlberta recorded 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the province's total to 11,893. Oops the cow folk are having wingdings on the weekends again. Stop travel between Town / Cities except Trucking! Let's get this Done by the end of This Month!