Helping children manage back-to-school anxiety during pandemic

Coronavirus

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Back to school jitters are not uncommon for most students. However, with children seeing COVID-19 dominating the news, and having their previous school year cut short, the unknown pressure may be enormous.

“Children are experiencing this in their way,” said Dr. Margaux H. Brown. “They’re consumers of the world and the anxiety that might be in their system.”

Brown is a licensed counselor and supervisor for children. She says parents and caregivers should have an honest conversation with their kids about the challenges this upcoming school year may present.

“Before rushing to problem solve, hear their feelings and emotions they are having about the lack of control they have right now,” Brown said.

The Licensed Counselor and Supervisor says several indicators could trigger a student’s anxiety level, like lack of control, anticipatory loss, and regression.

“Even if a student wasn’t struggling before, they might be sensitive to some regression and struggling to adjust to these new norms,” Brown said.

There is a lot of interest in how school will play out this year. Brown encourages parents to avoid minimizing the concerns their students might have.

“Students may say things that might be of the wall to an adult,” Brown said. “Rather than judging, minimize, or soothe them, just hear it.”

Brown also encourages parents to establish a good relationship between the school counselor and the student. The counselor can provide extra resources.

There are some 24/7 resources if you need extra support.

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