The Well-Being Check-In: Emotional/Social Health
Most students are a few weeks into the school year, making this an opportune time for parents to check in on their children’s and teen’s emotional and social well-being.
LearningRx, the world’s largest personal brain training company, has put together a simple guide to help parents better understand what’s working (and what’s not) now that school is underway. We’ve included some useful tips, sample questions to ask your student, and resources to make changes when necessary.
What to know:
The transition back to school after a long summer break is often difficult, but this year poses unique challenges. While some students have changed schools, others haven’t experienced in-person learning since spring 2020. For a large number of students, the past year and a half has included hybrid learning (in-person and virtual/online schooling), with many sports and extracurricular activities having been decreased or canceled due to the pandemic.
While many students are parents are hopeful at the prospect of returning to school and other regular routines, many still have concerns about the transition. Use these first few weeks to foster an open discuss about things that may be causing anxiety, sadness, or even fear.
What to ask:
Choose a tone that reflects curiosity or playful banter and ask open-ended questions to gauge your student’s experience and feelings on topics like socializing, friendships, confidence, and comfort. Consider asking these questions in a relaxed setting where you can read facial expressions and/or body language, such as during the family dinner or while on a walk.
1. Do you have any familiar faces in your classes? Have you made any new friends?
2. Are there new students at school this year?
3. Who do you sit with at lunch?
4. How is this year different than last year?
5. Are there any rules that you think are unfair?
6. Are there any afterschool activities that you might be interested in?
7. What’s the hardest part of your day?
Where to learn more:
Very Well Family offers information on “7 Important Social Skills for Kids,” including how to practice or teach each skill, here: https://www.verywellfamily.com/seven-social-skills-for-kids-4589865