It’s September, which for many means- back to school.
But this school year is much different, to say the least.
While some parents prepare to have their children learn from home, others send them off to school with many precautionary measures in place. It is a trying time for all.
In light of what is occurring worldwide, and with everyone’s health at risk, sending your kids to school right now isn’t the same as usual.
What can you do to ensure your children’s health is safe going back to school?
1 key element to sending your child back to school during this pandemic, is to normalize mask wearing. Us adults find masks uncomfortable so we must remember that it is extra difficult for children, as they may not fully understand the importance of it. Find a design that they really like, if your son is really into Spider Man, consider making him a Spider Man one so he feels more inclined to wear it. Wear your mask with them around the house to get them more comfortable with it.
Make sure they know to wash their hands several times a day. Kids are notorious for touching anything they can get their hands on, then rubbing their face. It is natural for a child. But right now- it can be dangerous. Get them in the habit of washing their hands for 20 seconds after they touch anything, and ensure they know to avoid their face. This can be difficult with younger children, but starting at home and getting them into a routine will help. You can also pack hand sanitizers and wipes for your child to use throughout the day.
No sharing lunches or drinks. I remember as a kid I loved sharing my snacks with other kids and seeing what goodies they had. Let your child know the importance of eating their own lunch and not sharing any drinks or snacks with their friends.
Ease their worries. Your child may have their own fears about going back to school. Validating their worries but also comforting them is key to making them feel more at ease about going back to school. Your child may have their best friend being home schooled while he goes to school. This can be fearsome for him as he will feel alone and even isolated. Try giving your child a sentimental object that calms them-a certain toy, a stuffie- something that may calm them during the day.
No sharing school supplies. We all do it- lose our pen or pencil and ask someone near by for theirs. But this needs to be avoided at all costs. Buy extra for your children just in case they run out of a certain supply or lose something.
Above all else, make sure your child knows it is okay to still have fun. Kids still need to be kids. Run, play and have fun. It’s part of growing up. Letting them know it is okay to still do so will help them. Yes there are precautions to take, but we need to let our children know it is okay to be a kid still.
To all parents and children entering schools this fall, be safe! And to all our teachers, we applaud you!
Be healthy and safe!