After almost a year of virtual learning and homeschooling, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us face apprehension about our kids returning to school. Many questions are surrounding our kids going back into the classroom after being gone for so long. You might wonder if it’s safe, or if your kids will be able to pick up where they left off, or you might have fears that you didn’t keep up with the whole virtual learning thing as well as you thought, and your kids are now behind. 

While all of these are valid concerns, it’s essential to remember that you’re not alone, mama. Although we all faced different challenges and unique situations throughout the last year, we also shared similar fears and uncertainties. As many have noted, we might not have all been in the same boat, but we were adrift in the same storm, doing our best to navigate turbulent waters and make our way safely to shore. Perhaps it’s fate that many of our kids are heading back to school this month. After all, National Kindergarten Day is April 21st, and kindergarten is when many children begin their school careers. Many parents experience nervousness when their kids stand on the threshold of attending school for the very first time. 

Therefore, to help overcome your uncertainties about your kids returning to school post-pandemic, consider some of these tips that often help parents and children when they start kindergarten.

1. Talk about It
Your kids are likely feeling a bit unsure about what the future holds when it comes to returning to the classroom. They could be nervous; some may have likely gotten used to being home and don’t want to go back, while others could be raring to go and excited. No matter which of these describes your kids, there’s no denying that there’s a big transition coming. Talk with your kids about how they feel, share your feelings with them, and get a clear understanding of the situation. 

2. Expect Anxiousness
When you enter into a new situation, expecting certain things to happen better prepares you for when those things occur. Therefore, expect some nerves and anxieties to surface, whether it’s just your own or your children’s as well. Practice breathing exercises and coping skills with your kids ahead of time, so you’re prepared when these moments of anxiousness strike.

3. Stay Flexible
Even though things are inching back to pre-pandemic ways, things are still a bit uncertain. Therefore, flexibility is key. Stay adaptable, expect changes, and help your kids adjust when things have to shift a bit. 

4. Be Patient
Don’t expect everything to become normal, wonderful, and carefree overnight (although, is anything ever really normal?). Be patient and help your kids learn how to take things as they come. Don’t spend too much time worrying about what-ifs and what could happen; just stay focused on the moment at hand. 

5. Hold Regular Family Meetings
It’s always essential to stay up-to-date and aware of what’s going on in your kid’s life, but it’s even more critical now. Have regular meetings or check-ins, whether it’s over dinner or a family game night, to ask your kids how they’re feeling. If you sense any changes in your child’s behavior, like irritability, acting more quiet than usual, overly tired, not enjoying activities anymore, etc., don’t dismiss it as “a phase.” Talk to your kids and talk to a doctor or therapist if you sense something is going on. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

These tips will help ease your apprehension about your kids returning to school, as well as guide you in the right direction to help relieve your children’s stress and worry. However, if you’re one of many parents who have decided to continue homeschooling, check out the MamaZen app’s Mindpower Session called ‘Patience with Homeschooling’, along with other resources available in the app, to find the support you need. 

 

This post originally appeared on MamaZen.com.