This past year, families have navigated altered routines, lockdowns, lack of social activities and so much more – we’ve been in a constant state of flux. As children across the nation return to in-person learning, they’re likely going to experience social hurdles. For many, the behavioral patterns and routines that were taught to them pre-pandemic must be remodeled, retaught and relearned.
After months of remote learning, students’ routines are now taking another 180º turn. This change may be upsetting and scary for children – and that’s OK. There are steps you can take to ease your child’s stress, fear and anxiety as they embark upon a new, unfamiliar school year.
Create a safe space for open communication.
Above all else, your child needs to know that they are loved and heard. Ensure they know they can come to you with any concerns – no matter how large or small. By instilling this practice from a young age, your child learns how to appropriately recognize and express emotions in the moment. If your child has developed unusual behavior tendencies, take the time to break down the problem and find effective solutions and coping mechanisms.
All positive behaviors need continued practice and encouragement, while all negative behaviors need to be healthily addressed. If you remain consistent in your parenting, you’ll set a clear path to follow and boundaries will remain intact. It’s also important to be specific about your expectations and what will happen if they act out again – doing so allows your child to learn and recognize negative behaviors, while promoting the positive ones.
Seek help when necessary.
Parenting is no small feat, and it can be even more difficult when your child is misbehaving for unknown or unclear reasons. If you’re still worried about your child after you’ve exhausted other options, seek professional help. There’s no shame in asking for assistance when it comes to your children’s mental health. In fact, it illustrates your willingness to do whatever it takes to help your child be the best version of themselves.
We understand that helping your child through tough times while experiencing them yourself can be difficult, and we want to help. Our team of certified staff members and clinicians is prepared to craft personalized, innovative treatment plans for your children through our Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative services. For more information, contact us at 508-427-5362 or click here.