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How To Stay Off The Back To School Emotional Roller Coaster Author: Morgan Viessman, CIT

School starting back up can feel like a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s exciting, fun, scary, and very bitter-sweet. Adding Covid in the mix makes that roller-coaster feel very uncertain and may even bring up emotions, as parents we never thought we would experience.

Last year there was a lot of uncertainty with sending kids back to school or doing online schooling. This year, masks have brought up a lot of emotions. I have spoken to a lot of people about this certain topic, and all have different emotions behind it. Some parents feel very strongly about having their kids wear mask and others don’t necessary care if they do or don’t.

With both emotions there is anger behind it. Anger at the schools, other parents, the virus. These emotions are very real and understandable. As adults it can be difficult to hide these emotions, especially in front of our children. During this transition its important for children to not be influenced by these emotions that may be surrounding them. It’s also important to allow children to ask questions and allow them to express their frustration. Anger is a very real emotion and looks completely different for everyone. Understanding what this looks like for your child will allow you to understand what they need andexplore this deeper with the kiddo.

Some key communication skills with your child:

1. Allow your child to finish talking and then respond to them.

2. Using your body language to show you’re listening and engaging. Facing your child and making eye contact, doing activities is also very helpful for kids who may feel uncomfortable opening up.

3. Don’t rush into problem-solving. Your child might just want you to listen, and to feel that their feelings matter.

4. Asking questions and allow for room of conversation to happen.

5. Be open on talking about all feelings like anger, joy, frustration, fear, and anxiety. This allows your child to understand these terms more.

Remember to have a fun and meaningful conversation with your kid. Anger and frustration are real and understandable. You aren’t alone in this.

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