Parents: Tips to reduce anxiety for kids returning to school

This fall presents a challenge for parents as their kids adjust to a school year unlike any other. Matthew McConn, chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has advice for parents to help reduce anxiety and uncertainty with their children as the school year begins.

McConn recommends that adults strike a balance by being as honest as possible not getting too much into details. If they ask about social distancing or masks, be honest and tell them these measures are taken to keep people safe.

“What we want to remember is that the uncertainty of everything is certainly causing anxiety, and for these kids that are dealing with that anxiety the best way to manage that is to be honest and truthful with them but not to get too much into the weeds,” McConn says.

McConn also recommends maintaining a routine and creating a workspace dedicated to schoolwork.

“It’s a lot like any other year,” McConn says. :Moving from the summer to the school year, parents are having to get kids at different times to sleep. So that structure, trying to get them set up with that again is going to be more important than ever moving into this new school year that’s going to be different.”

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