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BACK 2 SCHOOL: Empathy helps students deal with anxieties

An unconventional school year during a pandemic will likely cause some anxieties for children.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 6:06 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - An unconventional school year during a pandemic will likely cause some anxieties for children.

Prevea Health Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Lisa Tutskey says some children are more sensitive to changes in their environment than others.

Tutskey says kids pick up on the anxieties of adults. Right now, their parents or guardians may be dealing with job loss and other concerns about COVID-19.

Tutskey recommends helping children focus on what they can control. That includes masking, hand washing and social distancing.

Be sure to talk to children about their worries.

“Acknowledging the anxiety, recognizing it. Much of the time our tendency can be to say, ‘oh, don’t worry about it, it’ll be fine.’ That’s often not helpful. That’s not what people who are anxious want to hear. We can’t fix it, so we can’t offer solutions, we can’t offer promises. Sometimes we can’t even answer the questions. But we can join. We can offer empathy,” Tutskey says.

Routine is important for children. Make sure you establish one for the kids who are learning from home.

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