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How to help ease your child's fears, anxieties over returning to school during the pandemic

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Posted at 3:33 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 21:51:19-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Students across Tennessee are heading back to the classroom, and they as well as their parents may be anxious about this year's transition.

For some students, it'll be the first time they're back in the classroom in over a year.

CEO of Nurture the Next and mom of two, Kristen Davis says the first day of school butterflies are normal but added that this pandemic may make it that much more nerve-wracking.

"Of course there is an unknown of exposure to the virus," Davis said. "Socially and emotionally it's been so long for some students since they've been in-person."

Davis says to ease that stress for children, talk to your kids about how they're feeling about heading back to school and exchange coping mechanisms.

"Can I take a deep breath, exercise, maybe talk to a friend about it," Davis said.

Try having these types of conversations in a casual setting like as you're taking a walk or baking together.

Keeping a daily routine can also help during a time of uncertainty.

"So go to bed around the same time every night," Davis said. "Sleep helps anxiety and emotions, waking up at the same time."

The most important thing is making sure your kids know you're available.

Nurture the Next offers a Parent Helpline. Counselors can answer parenting questions and supports parents looking for guidance.

That hotline is 1-800-CHILDREN. It offers supportive listening, information and referrals for families experiencing problems, or if parents just need to talk to someone.

Counselors offer solutions to the stresses of parenting and link families with community resources.