Many students around the Quad Cities are heading back to school, but with all the changes this year, it can be a little more stressful for some.
Dr. Steve Kopp, a child and family psychologist with Genesis Psychology Associates said because of all these changes, there may be an increase in anxiety and depression in kids, as well as a possible increase in suicide in younger people.
For elementary school kids, he said the biggest change for them is the loss of structure.
For middle school students, he said they typically want more interaction with their peers and they may be losing that with remote learning.
For high school students, he said they are more independent and may not feel as at risk of testing positive for COVID-19.
His recommendation for kids adjusting to the new normal is to get a good amount of sleep each night and try to stick to a routine.
His best piece of advice for parents is to have age appropriate conversations no matter how old their kids are. That means to be honest with them, but not trying to stress them out even more.
“One of the things that’s really important is that we want to be conveying confidence and control through this,” Kopp said. “Not that we’re denying risk, but that we show them that we are protecting them still and that we’re making decisions that keep their best interest in mind.”
He also recommends parents to still allow kids to do some of the social things they were able to do before the pandemic.
“We have to get out and we have to do things,” Kopp said. “And if parents are going to take on the task of being a teacher also, this is going to be a lot of roles that they are going to be in. So I really encourage parents to decide who their children are going to be around and to set up things like play dates and set up activities where kids can come over in a very safe manner.”