How parents can deal with the stress of possibly sending kids back to school

Empty classroom covid-19
Posted at 6:18 AM, Jul 28, 2020

(WXYZ) — The countdown to school is on, and while parents are concerned no matter the age of the child, parents sending their kids to school for the first time are facing a special strain.

Annie Hahn lives in Gibraltar and is facing a tough choice. She's already had COVID-19 and is concerned about her daughter, Emma, and other family members catching the virus. She said if she keeps Emma at home this year, she'll make sure the first day is still special.

"We'll still do our first day of school pictures and, you know, we'll still make a big deal out of it," she said.

Former school counselor and Oakland University assistant Professor Rebecca Vannest said parents dealing with stress should first recognize pressure within.

"We want to be perfect. We want to do everything right. We want to be this great role model for our child. And to give yourself a little bit of a break," she said.

Also, there isn't just one right or wrong answer for sending a child back to school. The right solution will be different for each child. Vannest said parents can reduce their stress by avoiding the polarizing viewpoints.

"If we're scrolling for hours on Facebook, if we're sort of getting into conspiracy theories. I think we can really start spiraling," she said

Vannest suggests staying with reputable news sources, understand the choices are more nuanced than staying home or go to school. You can relieve some of the pressure to make the right choice by choosing both.

"Every school in Michigan, to be exact, actually have virtual options. And it's essentially like having the ability to home school," Vannest added.

"I’m sad that you won’t have that in-classroom experience if we go the homeschooling route. But at the same time, I want her to be safe," Hahn said.

Vannest said it's important to know that a parent's stress can be transferred to children.

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