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How to explain the upcoming school year to your kids

Experts at Brynn Marr Hospital say it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your child about what to expect this upcoming school year.
Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 7:47 AM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The upcoming school year will look different for students across the east. Last week, Governor Cooper announced the reopening plan, which will include a mix of in person and remote learning based on parental and school district decisions.

Experts at Brynn Marr Hospital say it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your child about what to expect this upcoming school year and set some guidelines for what your child’s schedule might look like.

“If we’re giving them some certainty and they know what to expect as much as possible, we’re going to help reduce some of their stress and anxiety because kids thrive on certainty and stability,” explained Dana Cronkhite, MSW, Account Manager at Brynn Marr Hospital.

Cronkhite says parents should think about the questions their child might have and come up with solutions to them before starting that conversation. Some potential questions might be, “what will it be like to wear a mask at school?” or “how do I properly social distance.”

In addition to answering your child’s questions, Cronkhite says it’s important to also talk about their emotions.

“Have a conversation about what your child feels disappointed or sad about.” She added, “This is a great opportunity to brainstorm with your child other activities that could meet those needs that may not be able to get met during the school year. We want to focus on the positive things that will happen this school year and what they will learn,” Cronkhite explained.

Experts say parents should set an example for their kids based on their own responses and reactions.

“One of the things we want to do right now is be confident and not show our kids some of the emotions that we might be having because we don’t want them to reciprocate those emotions,” said Cronkhite.

If your child is struggling, Cronkhite suggests looking for services in the community or scheduling an appointment with a school social worker.

Brynn Marr Hospital also offers a number of mental health and behavioral programs and services. You can schedule an assessment at (910) 577-1400 or visit their website.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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