While many kids are going back to school online, many more are in areas where it’s been determined that, with proper safety measures, children can go back to school in person.
At a time that would already be stressful, new restrictions set in place and everyone being a little more cautious, most families are feeling extra stressed out about how to keep their families safe.
We understand your concerns. Here are simple steps you can take to help your family develop healthy habits at the beginning of the school year that will get stronger and more natural over time.
Practice Mask Wearing
If your children are going back to school in person, there’s a chance they’ll be required to wear masks all day. This can be difficult for a lot of adults, so there is no doubt that wearing a mask during school hours will be difficult for some children.
A mask can feel distracting, especially when you’re not using to wearing one. Having your child practice wearing a mask at home can get them used to it so that it doesn’t feel so foreign and distracting during class.
Make Hand Washing a Routine
The pandemic has drastically increased how often people are washing their hands. The best routines start at home. Reminding your children to wash their hands regularly, not just when they’re dirty or after they go to the restroom, will make it a regular part of their daily life so they’re more likely to do it often at school.
Another great idea would be to talk to your child about when they should wash their hands. Anytime they have a break and are able to access a sink, they should take a moment to wash their hands. Practicing this at home will make it much easier for them to remember as it’s something they’re accustomed to doing frequently anyway.
Regular Family Check-Ins
While this might not exactly sound like a healthy habit, regular family check-ins can help you become aware of anything going on with your children.
The stress of going back to school is hard enough, but in the current climate it’s astronomically stressful in comparison to when things were “normal.” Check-in with your kids regularly and if you sense that they’re overwhelmed or stressed out come up with some ways to ease their minds and allow them to relax.
School is busy enough, but many parents tend to schedule their kids for activities or additional learning after school as well. With the stress and uncertain kids feel right now, it might be best to allow them to do less. Getting enough free time to relax and enjoy what they love is always important for children's health. It's even more important when children are under stress.
Remember, this tip is important for you too.
Healthy habits can be anything from hygiene habits to habits that help with you and your family’s mental health. Make sure that with everything going on in the world you’re setting your children up for healthy habits as they navigate this new way of going to school.