How are parents dealing with the anxiety of the new school year?

Handling stressful decisions for your child

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Virtual and traditional are words we’ve all heard for weeks now as school districts prepare for students in the fall. But what about parents? How are parents dealing with all these upcoming changes and challenges?

“I get frustrated, you know, like all of us do. We get frustrated,” says Alexandria Thompson. “I think that’s when you know you just really take time to yourself, whether you drop your child off with a friend for a minute. You go for a walk, clear your mind and just gather yourself back up.”

Thompson is a mother and also an educator who’s been home with her son since schools shut down in March. With a new school year approaching, she has concerns for her son and her own students.

“Apprehensive about how other students, how they will be in the school,” says Thompson. “Will they be wearing their mask? What kind of safety precautions would the teachers be taking? Will the rules be enforced?”

For parents, these aren’t the only questions they face. How will their kids adapt with all these changes? How can they cope and ensure they’re making the right decisions for their kids?

“You have to think about the logistics first and the health and well being of your family,” said Dr. Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist. “That may end up making your decision for you.”

Dr. Klapow wants to stress the importance of parents trusting themselves during these uncertain times.

“This is one of those things where nobody’s got it completely figured out so don’t assume that you have to it completely figured out,” says Dr. Klapow.

He says it is OK to feel overwhelmed but do not allow it to consume you. In order to be the best for your kids, you have to take care of yourself and put your mental health first.

Dr. Klapow wants to remind parents to be flexible, be prepared for more changes throughout the school year.

For additional resources and tips, visit www.healthychildren.org.

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