The start of the school year is upon us as it usually is this time of the year……. but this year it is clearly different. Students of all ages are feeling a heightened sense of anxiety not only because of COVID itself but also due to the indecision on behalf of the school boards. The decision makers don’t have experience with a pandemic (thankfully) so while they are doing the best they can, a clear and decisive direction doesn’t seem to exist. There are many who bear the weight of this indecision but none more so than the students. A new school year is normally filled with wonder, excitement, new leaves being turned over, goal setting and a new opportunity to better ones’ self. With tenuous plans in place that can change any minute, most of our students don’t know what to expect. When we are unsure of what lies ahead, it is very hard for us to be “all in” which in turn prevents us from maximizing our opportunities. To that end, I encourage us all to talk with our children about their fears and let them know that we are here to listen and support them. Reassuring them that while the world around us may be unpredictable, their lives at home and elsewhere that we can control are safe, stable and supportive can help alleviate some of their anxiety.
Suggested read: Helping Children Feel Safe in Stressful Times