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How to Support Your Child’s Social-Emotional Health

How can you support your child during the transition back to school and during the school year? Here are some ideas.
student mental health
In the 2021-2022 school year, student progress will largely depend on how we support their emotional and mental health.
Published: September 24, 2021

This tip sheet is also available as a downloadable PDF in multiple languages on Colorín Colorado.

1. Check in with your child.

You can ask:

  • How do you feel about going back to school?
  • Is anything worrying you?
  • What was a fun or hard part of today?
  • Is anyone teasing or bullying you?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

2. Keep track of how your child is doing.

Pay attention to your child's:

  • moods
  • feelings
  • behaviors
  • attitudes about school

If you see changes or have questions, talk with your child’s teacher or doctor about what you notice.

3. Create a new routine together.

Talk about how to stay healthy through:

  • sleep and exercise
  • good nutrition and hydration
  • managing screen time

4. Encourage your child by:

  • staying calm and supportive
  • helping your child name their emotions
  • focusing on positive things
  • sharing why your child is special
  • talking about why you are proud of your child
  • drawing and writing together

5. Help your child address anxiety about safety and uncertainty.

If your child is anxious about safety or returning to remote learning:

  • listen to their concerns
  • share safety steps they can take
  • answer their questions honestly
  • confirm that there is still uncertainty around this school year
  • share the information you do have.

6. Help your child address anxiety about separation.

If your child is anxious about separation from you:

  • listen to their concerns
  • practice short times apart
  • create a good-bye routine
  • send them a special note or photo in their backpack
  • assure them you will miss them too.

7. If you need more support, look for it!

You can find out how to:

  • contact school counselors or psychologists
  • find resources to address stress, anxiety, trauma, or abuse
  • connect with other families.

8. Share important information with the teacher about your child.

Tell the teacher about your child's:

  • strengths and challenges
  • ways of dealing with stress
  • questions and concerns
  • interests and talents.



Back-to-School Anxiety During COVID-19 (Child Mind Institute)


Source: This article originally appeared on Colorín Colorado and is reprinted with permission.


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