Just like a child can feel anxious when he steps into the school for the first time, your child, whether he is in elementary, middle or high school, can feel Separation Anxiety while he gets back to school after COVID19.
But, there is nothing to worry about your children being anxious at this time because this is quite normal.
Separation anxiety means fear of being separated and being more independent. This should not be confused with panic disorder as feeling anxious is worrying and overthinking about certain things which are not in the hands of your children while panic disorder relates to symptoms like sweating, thoughts of fear, racing heartbeat, etc.
Children and even adults are used to being at home with their parents, caretakers or families and heading back to the workplace or classroom can pose great challenges for anybody. It can be really stressful. There can also be a fear of others being unsafe for them as an added disadvantage.
Coronavirus outbreak was not an easy situation to go through. The harsh reality of working from home, home-schooling of children and temporary unemployment of uncountable people have posed difficulty for people with mental health conditions.
Adapting to the new changes and getting used to the virtual model of lifestyle was not an easy task.
After a long period of virtual mode, people, now need to get back to the early lifestyle of the offline mode which can again be a task. People have now become comfortable with the online mode and getting back to the offline mode can become more difficult than it was to change back to the virtual mode earlier. It can pose great challenges and affect mentally in a disgraceful manner.
Your children make become clingy and would not want to leave their family and parents company after a long period of time. They may even resist going to school because of the overwhelming questions that are posing in their minds because of anxiety.
How To Know That Your Child Is Anxious About Getting Back To School Or Not?
It is the duty of the parents or the caretakers to reach out to their children and know whether he is feeling anxious about heading back to school after the coronavirus outbreak and make them feel comfortable.
They need to know about their child’s mental state so that their children can feel comfortable before they head towards the classroom.
Some children will be excited to go to school after such a long period of time while they were stuck at home. This excitement will outweigh potential anxiety. This depends on the minds of the children and their nature.
So, to know whether he is feeling anxious or not, parents observe how their child is behaving as soon as they hear about the re-opening of the premises.
Some of the things that should be taken into consideration while observing their children are:-
– If your child is asking repetitive questions relating to school scenarios, it may be a sign that he is anxious
– Is your child suffering from physical ailments such as stomach aches, fatigue, or headaches on a regular basis
– If your child is not able to sleep properly, it may be a sign that he is thinking over and over again about the same.
– In some events, your child may refuse to participate in certain activities or refuse to go to school. This can also be a sign of anxiety.
Being A Parent Or A Caretaker How Can You Help Your Child In Relieving Stress Or Anxiety?
✓ You can help your child by talking out with them on a daily basis and interacting with them on a routine basis.
✓ Make them feel warm and comfortable so that they do not build up what they feel on the inside.
✓ You can help them think positive.
✓ For those children who are anxious about being separate, parents can even practice separating them earlier in small ways, like you can tell your kids to play in a separate room.
✓ Discipline and familiar routines should be followed up on a daily basis.
✓ Screen-time should be minimised and physical activities should be ensured.
✓ Keep your children occupied in healthy learning activities so that do not have time to overthink.
✓ If your child is engaged in fun and learning activities, he will not have time to stress over the baseless scenarios which are messing up with his mental state.
✓ A healthy diet should be followed, avoiding alcohol and bad habits like smoking or addictive video games.
✓ Parents or guardians should express confidence that the schools will take enough safety measures for the safety of children will minimise the risk of underconfidence and make them feel safe.
✓ You, as a parent or a guardian, can share your experiences with your child by telling them about the fun time at school which they are missing out at home. You can tell them how friends can be a meaningful part of their life.
By this, they will want to go the school.
Some children may feel nervous and anxious while going to school after the coronavirus outbreak but some children may also feel excited to go back to school after such a long time which may outweigh potential anxiety.
Parents should know and support the Mental Health of their children as this is not a situation that usually happens around the globe. Small minds have gone through a tense situation of this pandemic and they will need warmth and comfort to get back to “normal” lives.
Feeling anxious while stepping into the classroom should be considered very normal. There should not be anything to worry about.
The child will cope with the situation if he feels motivated and curious enough to go back to school.
However, you as a parent should give your child to give them space to validate their feelings. Parents and children should have a conversation from a place of compassion and understanding so that children feel more warm and comfortable in sharing their thoughts with their parents.