Tips How to Equip Your Child for the Return to School in 2021

Posted by Susan DeLaurentis, Director of Counseling at SSSAS on Aug 30, 2021 3:35:29 PM
Susan DeLaurentis, Director of Counseling at SSSAS

Starting a new school year normally brings butterflies, excitement, and nervous anticipation

We hope that you and your children are excited to return to campus next week to begin the 2021-2022 school year. While starting a new school year normally brings butterflies, excitement, and nervous anticipation, we recognize that while still coping with the pandemic this particular year may bring more significant worries and concerns for both parents and students.
We wanted to offer a few resources and suggestions as you get ready to send your students back to school. Here are some basic tips and also some links to current articles about how to equip your child for their return to school in 2021:
  • Plan ahead and prepare
    • To alleviate concerns your child may be experiencing, plan ahead as much as possible.  This will make your child feel prepared during the transition regarding  SSSAS’s safety protocols and precautions.
  • Discuss worries and concerns as a family
    • Have a meeting with your child and discuss what they are most excited about but also what they are most worried about. Give them the safe space to explore their feelings - you may discover that they are not as anxious as you are and are purely excited, so try to meet them where they are.
  • Communicate with teachers
    • Be proactive about communicating any concerns with your child’s teacher(s) and collaborating with them and the counseling team to best support your child.
  • Establish routines and structure
    • Having clear routines and structure for meals, exercise and downtime are extremely important for physical and emotional health. A morning and bedtime routine and sleep schedule will go a long way in supporting your child while making the transition and throughout the school year.
  • Anxiety and nerves are normal and to be expected
    • Being around people again will likely cause some social anxiety or anxiety about germs/getting sick in some students.  Practice reframing negative thoughts and/or explore mindfulness/deep breathing techniques as a coping mechanism.  If the anxiety does not improve or worsens, please reach out to your division’s counselor for support.
  • Be flexible and adaptable
    • Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, it is important for families to try and stay mentally flexible and ready to adapt. 
  • Be proactive checking in with kids about their mental health
    • Our world is experiencing a collective trauma and it is more important than ever to be checking in with your children about their mental health, even if it has never been a concern before. Ask them how they are feeling and if you see any symptoms of depression such as low mood, irritability, isolation, changes in sleeping patterns or appetite, lack of motivation, or concerns about safety, please reach out and we can provide referrals for mental health care.
  • Be consistent and present as parents
    • Kids need stability in times of upheaval so try your best to be present, predictable, consistent and a good listener to support them when they come to you with any issues that may arise.
You may find these articles helpful as you and your family prepare for the new school year:
Happy New School Year!
Susan DeLaurentis, Director of Counseling and Lower School Counselor
Karen Kunz, Middle School Counselor
Susannah Harrison Upper School Counselor 

Topics: Insider, Teachers as experts, become ready, Upper School, Middle School, Lower School

Become Ready!

Practical Advice for Parents of School-Aged Children

Through this blog we intend to share the ways in which our students become ready. We will highlight our faculty, experts in their fields; we will dive into topics such as the joyfulness of learning, the balance of school and home, college readiness, and service. We hope to offer sound advice and guidance, while also sharing what it really means to be a member of our Saints community.

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts