Pediatric psychologist provides tips on how to prepare kids for the upcoming school year

As we inch closer to the beginning of the school year, kids and teens alike may be having trouble adjusting to the new normal. Dr. Linda Nicolotti, a pediatric psychologist from Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said as we move closer to the beginning of school, many kids are going to be anxious about their health and the health of their family members. “Talk to their children about how their children are feeling, talk to them about what the plans are that are known for their current school year, let them know that there could be some changes,” Nicolotti said.She said it’s important for parents to let kids know that there are ways they can stay safe, like washing your handing and staying a safe distance away from others. And whether kids attend school remotely or in person, she said parents should prepare their kids for the new normal by being honest and giving them an opportunity to express how they are feeling. “I think kids are having a hard time with the chronic nature of COVID, being away from many of their friends and social type of situations for so long, I think a lot of kids miss being in the social school setting,” Nicolotti said.With younger kids, keep the conversations more concise and direct, but with older kids it’s OK to go more in-depth about what is happening. For parents and teachers alike, Nicolotti said it’s also important to look for any concerning changes with their kids’ behavior or mood so that they can address it.“Appetite changes, sleep changes, more irritability more tiredness maybe just not acting like themselves and that may be a clue that a child is having a hard time adjusting to the changes,” Nicolotti said.She said parents can help kids by creating openings for talking about COVID-19, and by also working on establishing a routine at home, encouraging children to interact with siblings and by talking with kids about how they can stay connected virtually with their friends both online and over the phone. And Nicolotti said if a parent has concerns about their child’s adjustment, talk with their primary care doctor about seeking professional help.Watch the video above to learn more about this story.

As we inch closer to the beginning of the school year, kids and teens alike may be having trouble adjusting to the new normal.

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Dr. Linda Nicolotti, a pediatric psychologist from Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said as we move closer to the beginning of school, many kids are going to be anxious about their health and the health of their family members.

“Talk to their children about how their children are feeling, talk to them about what the plans are that are known for their current school year, let them know that there could be some changes,” Nicolotti said.

She said it’s important for parents to let kids know that there are ways they can stay safe, like washing your handing and staying a safe distance away from others. And whether kids attend school remotely or in person, she said parents should prepare their kids for the new normal by being honest and giving them an opportunity to express how they are feeling.

“I think kids are having a hard time with the chronic nature of COVID, being away from many of their friends and social type of situations for so long, I think a lot of kids miss being in the social school setting,” Nicolotti said.

With younger kids, keep the conversations more concise and direct, but with older kids it’s OK to go more in-depth about what is happening. For parents and teachers alike, Nicolotti said it’s also important to look for any concerning changes with their kids’ behavior or mood so that they can address it.

“Appetite changes, sleep changes, more irritability more tiredness maybe just not acting like themselves and that may be a clue that a child is having a hard time adjusting to the changes,” Nicolotti said.

She said parents can help kids by creating openings for talking about COVID-19, and by also working on establishing a routine at home, encouraging children to interact with siblings and by talking with kids about how they can stay connected virtually with their friends both online and over the phone.

And Nicolotti said if a parent has concerns about their child’s adjustment, talk with their primary care doctor about seeking professional help.

Watch the video above to learn more about this story.