With the recent announcement from Governor Kate Brown that Oregon schools will require masks indoors for K-12 students, many parents and children are left adjusting expectations for the school year ahead. We sat down with Behavior Analyst, Chris Messina, to discuss how parents can help their children handle uncertainty amidst and the ever-changing rules and expectations of this pandemic season.
How Can we Support Our Children as They Head Back to School?
Manage Your Own Emotions
By working through their own emotions, parents can maintain the composure necessary to help kids remain calm in such wobbly times.
Focus on the Language You’re Using
Focusing on the language we use with kids is important. Our words have power and kids will be looking to us to find the language to express how they’re experiencing this new set of rules and regulations.
Remain Solution Focused
Parents can remain solution focused rather than problem focused. We all understand that Covid is a serious problem. We are pretty much powerless to change that, so we need to try help our kids see what they can control?
Prepare your Kids for What’s to Come—but Don’t Overdo it.
This is a stressful time for our children, and we need to give them necessary information about mask wearing, hand washing, and the like. But try to avoid being an alarmist. While you will likely have concerns and questions arise when the school year starts, remember that your child isn’t the person to deliver those questions. Address your concerns directly with the school, and don’t expect your child to be the liaison.
Is There a Silver Lining to All of This?
Lastly, the only antidote to conflict is compassion. Leading with compassion - for our ex-spouse, for teachers, for school administrators, for parents who have differing opinions about Covid - is the single most important behavior we can model for our kids.
If you would like to speak with Chris Messina further about how you can support your children as they head back to school during this time, give our office a call at (503) 227-0200 to speak with our Director of Client Partnerships, Steve Altishin, who can provide you a referral.