Psychological preparation for children to return to school

Dr. Le Minh Cong, deputy head of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (VNU-HCM), said that during the period of social distancing, mental health problems have increased significantly. children, such as increasing bad habits such as staying up late, waking up late, eating at the wrong time, accessing the internet a lot… For children who lack social-emotional capacities, they will be dependent on a safe environment. at home and have difficulty adjusting back to the school environment.

Discuss with your child

According to Dr. Le Minh Cong, the above limitations make it difficult for children to adapt to new contexts such as going to school or playing with friends. schools. Many other children may have emotional-behavioral difficulties such as anxiety, depression, withdrawal or aggression, impulsiveness, etc., which may increase when children return to school with many barriers and difficulties.

Many children with disabilities, especially with intellectual or learning disabilities, can make it difficult for them to return to school after many days of online learning and they cannot absorb knowledge and learning content. For many other children, maintaining the habit of online learning can lead to difficulties in accessing and adapting to face-to-face learning, especially for elementary students.

Therefore, support for children to have a healthy mental life must be done regularly by parents and teachers, even during the period of social distancing and especially when returning to school. Dr. Cong said that the first thing to do is for parents to always maintain their children’s habits no matter what the circumstances so that the child can be active in their behavior. From positive behavior can make a healthy physical and mental life.

In addition, parents and teachers should spend time observing children’s emotions, behaviors and cognitive processes to see if they are going through any difficulties or not so that they can have timely support strategies. If a child is in a crisis situation, it is important to be there, support and guide them on how to get through the crisis.

If your child has emotional-behavioral disorders, connect them with a clinical psychologist or counselor to provide professional support. In order to understand children, parents need to listen, understand and suggest that children can express themselves. Don’t judge children, but always listen unconditionally, give positive feedback and spend appropriate time with them.

“In the early stages of going back to school, parents need to take time to support their children to gradually adapt to a new lifestyle and way of life. This requires doing it slowly and methodically. For example, Parents, please discuss with your child how to return to school? How to prepare? What items to prepare? If there are difficulties, what to do?” – Dr. Cong said.

Vaccination for students at Luong The Vinh High School, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: ROYAL TRIEU)

Promote independence

Dr. Le Thi Mai Lien, lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (VNU-HCM), recommends that parents should promote children’s independence. Parents let children dress themselves, help arrange the table, prepare food, prepare books, etc. These actions make it easier for children to adjust to school.

Dr. Mai Lien said that after a long time, old teachers and old friends become strange because they do not meet face-to-face for 5 to 7 months, it is necessary to prepare children psychologically by reconnecting with friends and school by ways to encourage children to connect with friends and teachers through texting and calling.

Parents need to stimulate children’s motivation about going to school, if children do not want to go to school, parents can share their feelings with their children and keep some previous habits to help children not get sudden shock. due to change.

Even at home, children need to follow the same routines as they do at school, following a structured timeline. Parents can start by putting their children to bed and wake up at the same daily times as the school schedule.

The Covid-19 pandemic has kept children out of school for a long time, limited physical activity, lack of social connection with peers, negative emotions from parents… difficult going back to school. Therefore, according to Dr. Mai Lien, parents need to create a supportive and encouraging environment for their children, always responding positively to questions and emotional expressions of children. Show support and let your child know that they have a right to feel frustrated or anxious at times when transitioning from home to school, they need time to adjust. Usually it takes a few weeks or a month. This is a very normal thing.

According to the expected plan, Ho Chi Minh City will give priority to students at the end of grade 9, grade 12 who have received 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to go to school directly in early December. Many experts believe that, It is important to prepare children mentally at this time so that they can easily return to a normal learning pace.

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