Tips to Ease Back-to-School Fears and Uncertainties
With the start of a new school year approaching comes stress. This year there is even more stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has caused so many disruptions in our everyday routine. Disruptions have not just affected adults, it has also affected our youth. Adults sometimes forget or downplay stress and anxiety that youth may experience. Parents and adults can help youth to overcome stress and anxiety by having conversations to understand how they are feeling. Allison Walker, 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension of Randolph County offers tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to ease fears and uncertainties.
Address their fears. Reassure them and let them know that you will get through this together. Answer their questions honestly. Let them know that it is ok to be scared. Remind them to practice good hand washing and social distancing to help keep themselves safe.
Keep healthy routines. Structure is important and everyone benefits from keeping a routine. Create a schedule for their virtual learning days at home that will mimic their normal in-person school schedule. Be sure to include breaks and family time in the routine. If your child is becoming frustrated with their virtual learning, take a quick break, and go outside or eat a snack. At the end of the day have a transition time between the end of the “school day” and supper time. Go around the table and have everyone share something about their day. Try and stick to a normal bed time so that they are well rested and ready for the next day.
Stay connected to friends and family as well as find ways to stimulate their mind and body. Schedule virtual playdates or visits with friends and family members. Peer socialization is important. Be creative and play board games together or host a virtual meal. Find things to do together as a family. There are many places in Randolph County that families can get outside and explore together. Families can visit the Deep River Trail in Franklinville or the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness Trail in Asheboro. Other places to visit include Lake Lucas, Randleman Lake, and Pisgah Covered Bridge.
Randolph County 4-H is another outlet for youth. 4-H is open to ages 5-18, providing programs and opportunities through school enrichment, community clubs, summer programs and special interest programs. While 4-H is not able to offer face to face programming currently, there are still many opportunities to take part in. Visit the Randolph County 4-H Facebook page to see the latest information. For more information about 4-H in Randolph County, please contact the Randolph County 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent Allison Walker at email@example.com or call/text (336) 467-2927.