School's In!

School’s In!

In School Issues, Therapy by debbieconley

Come Monday, April 5th, many schools will be welcoming students back to in person learning. For many students this is the first time they have been back to their school since last year. For others, it is the first time back for 5 days a week of in person learning. Many kids are excited about this. They cannot wait to reconnect with friends and teachers. Their biggest complaint is having to actually wear clothes to school instead of their pajamas!

For other kids, their feelings run the gamut from ambivalence to terror. In my practice with kids, some have told me they feel like they will be re-experiencing the first day of school all over again. Some are used to the smaller class sizes if they were participating in Hybrid Learning. They worry about being around so many kids again due to social anxiety.

Some kids worry about having to talk in front of classmates in person. Something they were able to avoid curled up with their laptops in the safety of their bedroom. Others state they do not like the pressure of their classmates “eyes on them” if they are taking too long to complete a test.

Still others are very worried about catching COVID and spreading the infection to loved ones at home.


  • Keep your own fears and concerns in check. Kids take their cues from adults. Overhearing conversations you have about what you think the school is doing wrong, or your worries about the COVID positivity rate increasing will not help. Remember, even if your kids are in bed, they can probably still hear you. At least that is what they tell me!
  • Talk with your kids about what their worries or concerns are about going back to school. Try to answer their questions the best you can. Tell them if you do not know the answer, you will call the school and find out.
  • Talk with your kids about what school will look like when they return. Most school districts have information on their websites or have sent out an email addressing the return of in person learning. Talk with your kids about the set up of the classrooms, expectations about social distancing and masks, lunch time routine and drop off and pick up. When kids have information, they feel more in control. Kids like predictability and routine. Knowing what to expect can alleviate some of their anxiety.
  • Prepare for the first day back. Give kids choices (limited) which help them feel empowered. What would they like to wear on the first day back? Do they want something special for breakfast? Do they want to meet a friend at the front of the school?

If your child is really struggling as in extreme anxiety, crying, tantruming and refusing to go back to school, enlist the help of the support staff at school. They will be happy to partner with you and ease the adjustment back to school.

Then grab a cup of coffee and relax! You did it!