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Back to school prep in a pandemic

Posted at 1:38 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 15:38:05-04

Back to school time can be stressful during a normal year, but during a pandemic it may seem daunting.

We asked for some advice from Jessie Shepherd, LCMHC for parents and kids to get prepped.


    • Summer time brings with it a wildly varied routine with eating, sleeping, and social interaction. Starting the new school year routine back up, even gradually, will help reduce the shock. Two weeks ahead of time is optimal (gradually moving from summer routine to school routine) but can be done in 4-5 days.
  • Meals
    • Meals and snacks in the summer are typically on a different schedule and often totally random. Start having meals and snacks during times that your kids will be able to eat at school so they are not starving (or not hungry at all) when lunchtime rolls around.
  • Bonding Time
    • Your child's time with you will drastically reduce when they go back to school. Make sure to plan out times that you both can still bond and connect. Having one on one time planned out is helpful so that it is not forgotten. Also be conscious to keep open lines of communication with them.
  • School Prep
    • Have your child help make decisions with school preparation. Organizing their room, making a list of what clothing items they will need, and lunch ideas will help create a feeling of control.
    • *If your kids will be wearing masks when they go back- Have your kids try on and wear their masks for an extended amount of time so they can get used to it. An entire school day of mask wearing will be a long first day if they are not used to it.
  • Anxieties & Grief
    • Communication is key here for both parent and child. This school year will be like no other. With that will come a lot of emotions that we want to make sure to express. Discuss with your child various coping skills that could be helpful for them and don’t forget your own coping.
  • Think Positive
    • Having a positive attitude this year will be very important, but we also need to be realistic. The school year will be unpredictable and we will encounter elements this year that we can’t even fathom right now. Be confident that you will be able to roll with the uncertainty. You and your family have got this!

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