LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Whether it's virtual or in-person, a lot of kids are headed back to class in the next few weeks.
It's usually an exciting time but this year many parents and kids are filled with anxiety due to COVID-19.
According to therapist Brittany Johnson who works with children daily, many are still adjusting to this new normal. "We haven't been able to reintegrate to life, and now kids are in school."
Therapist Lauren Muir also notices how anxiety among her patients has increased in her practice and at her own home.
"I know for my own kids it kind of sunk in that they still are not going back, and that is hard."
Johnson says parents need to be on the lookout for symptoms of depression. "If your kid is asking you over and over again about school, about going outside, and about gatherings, those are definitely signs there might be some increased anxiety."
Muir says parents need to be aware of when they may need to seek out professional help.
She says the loss of appetite, isolation, and being anti-social are all signs to pay attention to.
It’s also essential to be a good role model says Johnson who says self-care for parents is just as important as making sure your children are healthy.
”Parents make sure you watch your mental health and make sure you are ok with your decision about school so when you talk to your kids you are giving them the information from a standpoint this is what we've decided as a family."
Therapists also suggest family game nights that lend themselves to open dialogue and keeping in mind different children have different needs that might work best inside or outside of the classroom.