Parenting Connection: How to bolster confidence heading into a much different school year

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It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to bolster confidence heading into a much different school year.

Our “Parenting Connection” segments have recently focused on how to prepare for an online school year, strategies for a successful at-home learning environment, and how important a new routine will be when classes resume. Now it’s time to give our kids the confidence they need heading into a virtual start to school.

Child experts say, there’s a lot we can do at home to bolster our children’s feelings of confidence as they head into a new school year. The first thing that’s highly recommended is to be a positive person and parent. This will be a new experience for everyone and so child development expert Kendra Moyses with Michigan State University says, if parents can be positive and optimistic it’ll help their kids be the same.

“I think during this time, especially since there is so much uncertainty, there is extra stress and so sometimes we forget that our kids are little video recorders and are feeding off our attitudes and emotions and so we can really help them with this online learning as a new opportunity to experience new learning and a new way to do things, so trying to stay positive.”

Many students, whether attending class in-person or not, will get back-to-school anxiety — so child experts recommend:
*Checking in with your child frequently and listen to their concerns
*Validate their emotions, letting them know their frustrations are understandable
*Send encouraging texts or leave positive notes during the day
*Encourage your children to do more of what they enjoy most while not attending class

Major factors that’ll help reduce anxiety and build confidence include making sure your child is getting enough sleep, being physically active and eating healthy food — and so that’s why a solid new routine is working. Educators say, if you have a daily routine that involves those three, you’re likely to see successful results.

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