The last few months have been all about adjusting to new situations. To combat the covid outbreak, the entire world was put on lockdown. Schools and offices were closed, and we all transitioned to a digital lifestyle. The outside world came to a standstill with only hospitals being swamped with increasing caseloads. It was a trying time, and as parents, we had the responsibility of guiding our children through it. With no end in sight and new information emerging everyday, we found ourselves concerned and worried. We waited for the world to get back to normal as we adapted to the new normal, bit by bit. It was the support of the family and our loved ones that helped us sail through the tough time. 

It’s been over a year since the pandemic began, and we’re finally getting back to normal. To the world in which we used to live. Schools and offices have gone back to being offline. It will, however, never be the same. With new variants surfacing every now and then, we still need to follow the covid safety guidelines and encourage others to do the same. Only our collective effort can save us from another case surge. With the schools reopening our children will find themselves in the outside world on their own for the first since the pandemic. This can be both exciting and stressful for them. We as parents need to fully prepare and support our children as they prepare to head back to school.

Following are the 5 things you can do to support your child as they head back to school – 

1.Bring them back into a proper routine

Functioning in the offline world is different from functioning online from home. Working and learning from home allows us room to relax and take things at our own pace. We don’t have to account for things like travel time, which can take up hours of our day. As relaxing and flexible as it is, it may also make us sluggish, making it difficult to keep up as the world reopens. With schools starting at early hours of the morning, our kids may struggle to get up, get ready and reach school on time. Their body might struggle to cope with the hustle instantly. Hence, try to bring them back into a proper routine at least a week before their school reopens. This way they will get acclimatized with getting up early and getting ready for the day.  This will give them a head start before school week. 

2.Help them embrace the new world but with caution

Unfortunately, back to school is not synonymous with the pandemic being over. Even though the number of cases is low, the virus is still out there, and we are still at risk. Our children are at a greater risk as they are yet to be inoculated against the virus, making it even more important for us to encourage them to abide by the covid protocol. At school they will be exposed to many people like their teachers, friends and the rest of their classmates. A little carelessness can easily lead to a virus outbreak, forcing the school to close again. To avoid this, ask your child to sanitize at regular intervals, to always keep their masks on when indoors or around people. Check with the school about the precautions taken and how they intend to handle the situation if a student tests positive. It is understandable to feel anxious and worried as we prepare to send our kids back to school. However, in these tumultuous times, it is critical that we all work together and keep everyone’s best interests in mind. Our goal should be to stay prepared and not cause panic.

3.Support your child with school work

Immediately after rejoining school, some of our kids had to take their offline exams. After spending a whole year studying online, this can bring in a lot of stress and anxiety. As we all struggle to get back to our pre-covid duties while navigating an ongoing pandemic, we need to support our children and ease the exam pressure. We need to reassure them that, after the difficult year we’ve all had, they don’t have to worry about excelling on their exam; instead, they should just aim to do the best they can. Help your teenager make a study plan ahead of their exam. Speak to their teacher if you feel your child is struggling and needs a break. Make sure that they are taking ample breaks while preparing for their offline exams. Be involved with your child’s life and remind them that you are always there to support them with whatever they need and can always ask for help.

4.Make sure they are eating right

Attending school everyday can take a toll over their physical and mental health. Our bodies need to relearn to stay active for a longer period of time without being able to rest. This can take a toll on your child’s physical and mental health. Especially those kids who may be recovering from covid or any other illness. During winters our body also needs more energy to keep ourselves warm. This makes it extremely important for us parents to make sure that our children are getting their proper diet. Their regular diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, supplemented with a variety of nuts and seeds. Remind them to stay hydrated and help them follow all the necessary steps to keep their immunity strong.

5.Help them relax and have family time

As a young person, it surely is frustrating for them to not be able to live their life more freely. To not be able to play or hang out with their friends without the fear of being infected with a deadly virus. It might get overwhelming for them to navigate through school and life. This is where we as parents have a role to play. We need to help them manage their emotions. Not let them get burdened with school work and the fear of what the future holds. The mantra should be to take it slow, one day at a time. Spend time with them, go for walks and ask them what their day was like. Always incorporate some family time at the end of each day. Play some fun board games or watch some television. Start your day with your child by practicing some breathing exercises at home or by brisk walking in the neighborhood park before getting ready for work and school.

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