The pandemic has changed our lives more than a lot of people realize. Parents, though, know all too well how more than a year of isolation has affected their children. Although the time spent at home may have improved family communication and led to more quality time, now that most schools have returned to full-time in-person education, parents are seeing a number of educational issues.
THE STRUGGLES OF CHILDREN RETURNING TO FULL-TIME IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION
There’s little doubt amongst experts that many children have been traumatized by the pandemic. Many of their families have faced financial hardships, and the isolation came at critical junctures in these children’s emotional and social development. Therefore, children can struggle to acclimate to new surroundings with people that they may not have seen for a significant period of time, worrying about whether their friends will like them, their teachers will be disappointed in where they’re at academically, and whether they will get sick. In fact, many experts expect children to be anxiety-ridden as they acclimate to full-time in-person instruction. This, in turn, can lead to detrimental educational outcomes.
To help alleviate any mental strain on your child, you may want to ensure that your child has a mental health provider who can help them adjust. Your child’s school should have mental health resources available to assist. Providing consistent routine can go a long way to providing stability, too, as can obtaining parenting training and support. Hopefully, these measures will decrease the impact of these changes on your child and ensure that he or she has the support needed to succeed in school.
THE EFFECTS OF LEARNING LOSS
Another very real issue facing children who are returning to full-time in-person instruction is learning loss. During periods of remote learning, many children suffered from learning loss due to an inability to easily interact with teachers and students. Comprehension was difficult to gauge, and as a result many children fell behind. This means that as your child returns to the classroom, he or she may face some real challenges in keeping up.
To support your child as he or she tries to get caught up, consider whether tutoring may be necessary. If that’s not an option, then you might want to be prepared to work with your child on an individual basis to help him or her work through challenging topics. Remember, the earlier that you seek help for your child the better he or she will be positioned for educational success.
WHERE TO SEEK HELP
If you have concerns for your child’s educational wellbeing as he or she returns to full-time in-person instruction, you might have several places where you can turn for help. Your best first step is seeking assistance from your child’s school, as it will have a strong understanding of the mental health, social, and educational challenges that your child may be facing. You can also speak with your child’s pediatrician. He or she may be able to make recommendations when it comes to treating your child’s mental health and supporting his or her emotional needs. From there, you can look to telehealth resources, which provides a lot of convenience.
HOW YOUR LEGAL SITUATION CAN IMPOSE ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES
On top of all of that, your child may face struggles if you’re dealing with family law issues such as those pertaining to visitation and shared custody arrangements, particularly given that these situations lend themselves to inconsistencies in routine and discipline. Fortunately, these matters can be addressed by your attorney. What we hope you keep in mind is that regardless of your specific situation, now is the time to act to protect your child’s best interests, and that action should be custom-tailored to suit your child’s needs.