Cobb County plans to implement Phase 1 of in-person learning starting October 5th. For many, hearing this news may be bittersweet. Many of the children I have spoken with cannot wait until school is in-person again. They miss seeing friends, socializing, running on the playground, and having their days filled. They are annoyed by virtual learning and are “so over” the computer issues associated with it. Others are more comfortable at home, have anxiety about being in-person, and are really worried about getting COVID-19.
Many parents have a similar dichotomy of emotions. Many have been wishing and hoping for schools to go back but have finally gotten situated in a small learning pod or with their own family routine. The threat of COVID-19 is still out there, but so is the desire to return to a more “normal” life.
As you discuss a return to school with your children, try to use these techniques:
Ask open ended questions, such as “What do you think about this?”
Ask “What are your worries or concerns?”
Create a calendar so children know when to expect their in-person return.
If possible, make plans to continue socializing with friends from their learning pod or neighborhood friends to continue those relationships (if applicable to your family).
Discuss some of the positives of returning to in-person learning.
Expect that your children may have struggles separating from you. Discuss a plan ahead of time; be sure to spend time together outside of school and consider putting a picture of you in their backpack.
Consciously plan to work in less-structured downtime (in the afternoons or weekends) once school does return.
Encourage flexibility. While the plan is that Cobb schools will return, remind your child that things can and may change.
If your child struggles during the transition back to school, we are here to help!