Tips for Managing the Stress your Elementary School-Aged Kids Might Have
By: Kathleen Bambrick, LICSW, Director of Training
Aspire Health Alliance
- Get kids to talk; listen first – actively listen – summarize – don’t negate their thoughts/feelings
- Address misconceptions about the virus
- Reassure your child that:
- Fears are normal but they pass
- Everyone around them wants to help
- Remind them of the things they miss about school
- Give them ideas of how it might be different
- Loss of control causes anxiety- stick to routines, jobs at home
- Reassure them masks and other prevention techniques help them stay safe.
- Reinforce what they can do to stay safe, handwashing, social distancing, and good mask-wearing techniques
- Notice behaviors and ask them about it
- Look at how you are handling stress. Kids will model that or pick up on your anxiety or what you say about school or the virus
- Something to think about is the more familiar we are with things; the less stress it brings. (IE: your first day of work you’re pretty nervous, then it becomes familiar and expected and your anxiety lowers and feels comfortable). So, if you are able to practice some things ahead of the start of school; practicing the morning routine, walking the route to school, and, if able, even going into the school when students are not in the building- finding your classroom, locker, etc., it might help your child feel better or less stressed.