Going back to school is a big change, especially this year. If you have a little one going into pre-k, kinder, or first grade this year we understand that you (and they) may especially have fears swirling around.
Maybe it’s about them having “fallen behind” in terms of learning and cognitive development or maybe it’s about the lack of opportunity they’ve had to develop social skills during Covid. Any fears you have going into the fall are valid and deserve to be heard, but you should try to remember that ALL kids are in the same boat. Your kid is gonna be ok.
Remember this: while your family has certainly been deeply impacted by the pandemic and all of the changes we have seen, you have also developed incredible fortitude and resiliency that you may not have had before. The pandemic has been tough but kids, it turns out, are tougher. Many kids have made huge strides this year in maturity, independence, creativity, and compassion.
To help you and your kids get mentally prepped for the school year, Sesame Street has created some helpful resources for young learners and their caregivers. From printable skill practice sheets, to articles for teachers and caretakers to help their kids practice skills for the classroom like easing separation anxiety, full body listening, and managing big feelings.
We recommend going through the “Back to School: New Beginnings” worksheet, naming your fears and concerns, helping your kid name theirs, and writing a list of things they have learned in the past year and a half that they didn’t know before. What strengths have they gained? What are they looking forward to?
Writing out both fears and strengths helps to bring them out of the whirlwind of worry. We are able to take a step back, softening anxieties and giving us a new perspective on the situation as a whole. Practicing this together with your little one teaches them a simple way to deal with their worries, enabling them to learn how to manage their mental health at a young age.
Click below to find Sesame Street’s “The New Normal” page:
If you feel that your family is in need of additional, one-on-one support, we can help. We have therapists on staff who are experienced working with kids as young as three years old, dealing with issues like anxiety, school refusal, depression, trauma, separation anxiety, and more.
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