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How to tell if your child is struggling to be back in school

September 06, 20233 min read

The return to school after a long break or a prolonged period of remote learning can be both exciting and challenging for children. While many kids eagerly anticipate reuniting with friends and teachers, others may find the transition back to in-person learning overwhelming. As a parent, it's essential to be attuned to your child's emotional and behavioral cues to ensure their well-being during this adjustment period. In this blog, we'll explore four signs that may indicate your child is struggling to be back in school and offer tips on how to support them through this transition.

1. Changes in Behavior and Mood

One of the most noticeable signs that your child may be struggling with the return to school is a sudden shift in their behavior and mood. You might observe them becoming irritable, anxious, or withdrawn. They may display signs of frustration, such as tantrums or crying spells, which were not typical of their behavior before returning to school.

How to Help:

- Create a safe space for open communication. Encourage your child to express their feelings about school and what might be bothering them.

- Maintain a consistent daily routine to provide stability and predictability.

- Be patient and understanding, reassuring your child that their feelings are valid and that you're there to support them.

2. Academic Struggles

If your child previously excelled academically but is suddenly struggling with their schoolwork, it could be a sign of adjustment difficulties. The transition from remote learning to in-person instruction can be jarring, with changes in teaching methods, expectations, and classroom dynamics.

How to Help:

- Communicate with your child's teacher to gain insights into their academic performance and areas of concern.

- Offer additional support through tutoring or extra practice at home if needed.

- Encourage your child to ask questions and seek help from teachers or classmates when they encounter challenges.

3. Social Isolation

For some children, returning to school means facing social pressures and anxiety about fitting in. If your child is avoiding social interactions, spending lunch breaks alone, or showing reluctance to participate in group activities, they may be struggling to reconnect with their peers.

How to Help:

- Arrange playdates or gatherings with their friends outside of school to help rebuild social connections.

- Foster a sense of belonging by involving your child in extracurricular activities or clubs where they can share common interests with others.

- Teach your child social skills and conflict resolution techniques to boost their confidence in social situations.

4. Physical Symptoms and Health Complaints

Stress and anxiety related to school can manifest in physical symptoms. Headaches, stomachaches, sleep disturbances, or an increase in illness complaints might indicate that your child is struggling with the transition back to school.

How to Help:

- Consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying medical issues.

- Address potential causes of stress by discussing school-related concerns with your child.

- Promote a healthy lifestyle with balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and a consistent sleep schedule.

Conclusion

Returning to school can be challenging for many children, and it's crucial for parents to be vigilant about signs of struggle. By paying attention to changes in behavior, mood, academics, and social interactions, you can provide the support and guidance your child needs during this transitional period. Remember that each child's experience is unique, so patience, empathy, and open communication are essential tools for helping them successfully adjust to being back in school.

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