Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – This week, many students will be returning to a pre-pandemic classroom. There may be some changes your child might need help navigating as they adjust after virtual learning. Emily Beier spoke with a doctor who shares some insight on helping with the change as kids head back to school. 

Over the past year or two, many children likely experienced a “hybrid learning experience” with some virtual and in-person classes. Most kids are thrilled for the first day of school, but it’s normal for children, especially after a global pandemic to feel a little anxious.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve have seen an increase in anxiety and depression in our kids and I think COVID had a lot to do with that and the social isolation and not having a normal routine.”

Dr. Abby Smolcich, a pediatrician with Thedacare says the best thing you can do for your kids is to talk to them about returning to the classroom. Tell them what to expect.

“I think the power of a conversation holds a lot of weight, you know allowing the kids to express their fears and anxieties to parents.”

Some children may show signs of struggling to adjust and it can appear in ways parents may not think of, such as complaining of belly aches, headaches, sleep issues or mood changes. Dr. Smolcich suggests using your resources. Reach out to guidance counselor or your family doctor.

When it comes to easing their minds for the first day of school it can help to get children involved in pre-school activities.

“I really encourage parents to bring their kids so they can meet their teacher, they can look at the classroom, see what kinds of things they’re going to be doing and I think that really helps too.”

The first couple of weeks are always a little tough but preparing with small steps to adjust can make the transition easier for everyone.