LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While some Kentucky families were excited about a return to in-person learning, it is natural for both students and parents to feel some anxiety. Greg Oerther, the Behavioral health Outreach Coordinator suggests it is important to manage it.
"There’s a balance between listening to your child and helping them understand that they faced challenges in the past. Kids are very resilient and have that resilience based on their history,” Oerther said.
Ashley Dearinger’s two children returned to class Wednesday at Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School.
“Definitely all the feelings just like on a first day. Excited for kids to have a sense of normalcy,” Dearinger said. “My kids had anxiety about what it would look like when they returned to school.”
For Dearinger, her family was anxious more about what a return to in-person learning would like. But seeing and hearing her daughter’s excitement about her first day back helped ease some of Dearinger’s worries.
“I think that through this process we’ve learned children are resilient and they can take on a little more that we think they can, even though sometimes where my anxiety comes from how much we are asking them to do in their six-year-old bodies,” she said.
Oerther suggests keeping an eye on how your kids conduct their self — especially behaviors they don’t normally do like staying in their room with the door shut. He said those can be taken care of with heart to heart conversations. You may want to seek out a doctor if your child has persistent tummy aches or other reasons for not wanting to return to school.
“When those signs of systems persist, that’s when you want to see a pediatrician,” Oerther said.
Dearinger said she hopes parents remember that your teachers and schools are a resource that can help too. Reach out to them if you need a little extra help with your students.
“Take advantage of schools being at half capacity so staff is there and there are people who can help you and your child during that transition,” Dearinger said. “I think that it’s going to be a great end to the school year."
Some other helpful tips include reminding your son or daughter about his or her strengths. It's helpful when they need some encouragement. Help them brainstorm ways they can meet and overcome their challenge and find outlets for them to cope with anxiety.