The Relief – and Anxiety – About Having Our Kids Back in School

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Let’s discuss the fact that there is relief – AND anxiety – about having our kids back in school.  When this pandemic began, and the whole world seemed to shut down, it was a very daunting and hectic time for both children and their parents.

Online learning required a lot of extra help from moms and dads – who were also trying to juggle their workloads – and it was hard on children, too. Adapting to Zoom, taking on more personal responsibilities, missing their friends and social interactions – it was tough on us all.

But this school year, for the most part, we are back in the actual school buildings. Though most schools have the mandatory mask rules in place, kids are actually back in the classroom and experiencing fairly normal life. So, all is well right?  Not exactly.

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Why is there Relief AND Anxiety About Having Kids Back in School?

The relief part is easy to understand. A lot of pressure that parents felt to manage their kids’ online schooling has dissipated now that children are back with their teachers. Full school days mean the kids can get more done under the direct supervision of their capable instructors – not just their parents trying to wing it. That’s a big load off of our shoulders.

But there is anxiety too. As parents, many of us got accustomed to knowing exactly what our children were learning. We became more in tune with their assignments and curriculum. In fact, we gained a lot of insight into how much teachers actually DO – which is invaluable to both parents and educators.

However, now we are feeling a little lost. We aren’t as “in the know” as we were, and that can cause some anxiety. And possibly even a little guilt.

Anxiety Surrounding the Safety of Our Children

And we can’t ignore the fact that COVID has not gone away. Though our world has opened back up to a large degree, people are still getting sick. The Delta variant is highly contagious, and with no vaccine for the younger children available, this causes worry among parents.

Many parents, though concerned about the virus, still consider it worth the risk to have kids back in school. The fact that children were slipping in their schooling AND the presence of mental health concerns for kids not at school make being in the classroom a positive move.

Lots of U.S. parents have qualms about sending their children back to school. Only about one quarter of parents who responded to a nationwide online survey for the National Parent Teacher Association released earlier this month said they feel “very comfortable” with their children returning to the classroom.

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So How Do we Handle the Mixed Emotions?

As parents, we are always concerned about our children. Whether it be socially, mentally, physically – we worry. But being as proactive about looking for symptoms and testing as we can be, and masking up and social distancing whenever possible can help alleviate some of the stress.

If you feel you are really struggling with anxiety surrounding your kids and school, please give us a call. Our therapists have lots of experience dealing with both children living with anxiety and parents who are worried, as well.

Please give us a call at 912.319.5552 or email us today. Waters Edge Counseling is here to help.