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Preparing Your Child to Return to School

If your child is returning to the classroom in person after the pandemic, it's normal for them to feel anxious. How will they handle the social distancing? What if they need a mask break? What if another child makes them uncomfortable by taking off their mask? 

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If your child is returning to the classroom in person after the pandemic, it's normal for them to feel anxious. How will they handle the social distancing? What if they need a mask break? What if another child makes them uncomfortable by taking off their mask? 

Here's how to prepare your child for a smooth transition by helping them with their worries, even if you feel a bit anxious yourself.

In this hour-long audio, learn how to:

  • Answer your child's questions about whether it's safe to return to school.
  • Help your child become comfortable wearing a mask.
  • Support your child to plan responses for things that make them uncomfortable, such as when another child takes off their mask.
  • Manage your own anxiety. 
  • Reduce your child's anxiety.
  • Help your child bond with the teacher.
  • Advocate for your child with the school.

What Parents are Saying

"My daughter is highly sensitive and I was so worried about how she would handle going back to school. But I have been following your advice, and amazingly, she has overcome her separation anxiety, is wearing her mask, and has a mostly positive attitude. Thank you!" - Laurel J.

"This is a must listen... Thanks so much!!!" - Esther C.

"So grateful for this audio! My children will go back to school but there are so many uncertainties.... the audio is very helpful." - Raquel M.

"I found this audio extremely helpful! My daughter (7.5) started going to school (they're mainly in the outdoor classroom) last week and I was really happy that I had done some of the recommendations (e.g. asking her about her feelings..and yes, she said 3: worry (about getting COVID), excited (to see her friends) and sad (missing me and playing with her dolls). I had completely understand what she meant so I empathized/validated and normalized. After I listened to the Audio, I started checking-in with my daughter more and have more conversations and provide more information as Dr. Laura suggested. My daughter hasn't been complaining about wearing masks or worry about getting the virus but when I asked how she felt about them, I realized she was worried and I was ready to respond so I'm very grateful to this audio! Also, although I don't have anxiety for my daughter going to school, my husband is so I'm applying same principles to help my husband (i.e. listening/understanding and giving information on all the things the school has implemented to keep kids safe). THANK YOU so much!" - Farinaz E.


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Children are very sensitive to the fear that's swirling around them. They worry about invisible germs, or dangerous demonstrations, or that police officers might be hurtful instead of helpful. They worry that we might die, or their grandparents might die. Or maybe they develop unrelated fears, like sleeping in their bed alone, or that a bee might sting them. Maybe they simply cling, and insist on being on our lap, even to the point of pushing their sibling out. Maybe they regress, having potty accidents, whining or collapsing into helplessness. Or maybe you don’t see anxiety directly, but your child becomes demanding and difficult or aggressive.

All these responses are about being in the grip of fear. You can call it anxiety, or worry, or a full backpack, but it’s all fear. If your child tended to be a bit anxious before the pandemic, you can expect to see lots more anxiety now.