Are the children ready to go back to school?

From Monday, all primary schools, eighth and twelfth grade and special education schools will be gradually opened. Are students who have been pursuing distance learning for almost a year ready to go back to school? We answered our questions with academic-writer Bahar Eris. And teenage counselor, psychologist Sigdam Dogan Bilgin

The students, who have been pursuing distance learning for almost a year, were eager to return to school for the first time. However, lately, I talk to every child, especially my daughter, who is reluctant to start school. They are so accustomed to going to bed late, waking up late, being in front of the screen, walking around the house in pajamas that it seems hard to get used to the new normal in the old rules. How should we handle this process? How can we make a smooth transition? How can we support children in this regard? I asked academician-author Bahar Eris and child and adolescent counselor psychologist Sigdam Dogan.

“Let’s get ready for a mental explosion.”

Change is difficult for children. Are they ready to go back to school when they are used to distance learning?

It is certain that for children this process will not be like going back to their old habits. Although some are accustomed to the distance learning process, some will change again before they get used to it. Children seem to be returning to school and on the streets, in part, rather than literally. They will experience many positive and negative experiences with the benefits of this process. However, this process of change is useful to see that the world is going through a journey of transformation. Because all of these changes will turn children into a journey of transformation in terms of “emotional / psychological resilience / resilience” and increase their ability to be flexible against life experiences. Knowing all this, the boundaries at home need to be reconsidered. Boundaries such as sleep and screen time should be redefined in a sympathetic and democratic way with children according to age group.

How should we handle this process mentally and emotionally?

It is very important to know that this process is not easy for children who are anxiously waiting for the school to open or who do not want to go to school. In this process, children need to be prepared for emotional outbursts. It will take time to adapt to this change. When your child is experiencing an emotional outburst, instead of logically explaining to him, stay on the same channel and say, “I see how hard it is for you, and you are right.”

What will be the healthy transition?

A smooth transition would be healthier if the boundaries at home or outside were redefined instead of using negative sentences starting with “when school is open”. In other words, it is worth adapting to a change in normal flow rather than starting school or being reminded frequently of an epidemic agenda. In addition, given that everything changes so frequently, precise explanations should be avoided and it would be valuable for parents to promise to be a safe haven for all the inconveniences of children in the process. It would make sense to show up with the behavior, not verbally. Parents need to express their own difficulties, pay attention and show that they also see the difficulties of children. In the midst of their difficulties, the voice of parental affection will resonate with their children. For this reason, they should not forget that these changes are not easy and they can balance with each other in all difficulties.

The anxiety of the parents goes away in the children

Are the kids ready to go back to school and on the street?

And they are very ready! The kids at home are very upset. They missed their friends and teachers. Spending time in front of the screen was not their choice, it was an obligation. There was not much training on the screen. I think working parents are more prepared than children. This process is very tiring for working parents, especially mothers who work indoors or outdoors. Mothers suffer from the fatigue of making decisions and not being able to keep everything right. Therefore, I think both the child and the parent are very ready to return to education. Again, an adaptation time must pass, but children can adapt very easily.

What can parents pay attention to in this process?

Parental anxiety goes into the child. Negative talk about education, viruses and the future in the presence of children increases the child’s anxiety. It lowers the motivation to learn. It is important to be careful about how we talk in front of children. If necessary, contact the school to find out what precautions they have taken. This information can reduce your anxiety and reflect positively on your child. Also important is how you talk about the education system. Evil discourses such as “Is such an education possible, it has become a puzzle” diminishes the motivation to learn and makes adaptation difficult. This is called ‘Hidden Learning’. It is also a stylish ride for kids. The good news is that with strong and supportive relationships at home, young people are able to handle difficult situations and even benefit from it. Kind, patient, and considerate parents act as a buffer against chronic stress, especially among adolescents during epidemics. It is important for children to have a place to express their feelings and, as dear Dogan Cuselloglu puts it, “to have a conversation” with them. Don’t compare baby adaptation speed with others! Each child moves forward at their own pace. Benchmarking weakens the underlying motivation. Sympathetic. How would you feel if your child said to you, “Janep’s mother spends more time with me than you do with me”? Comparison is toxic; Reduces motivation, makes the child feel worthless. It damages the bond of love and trust between you. It is good to respect the baby’s style and movement and support him by holding his hand from where he is.

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