Managing Emotions and Expectations Around School

Available with English captions and subtitles in Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish.

Whether children are returning full-time to school in person, part-time, or fully remote for their year, this uncharted territory for education has caused anxiety for kids and parents alike.

Regardless of the environment they’ll be learning in, it’s important to manage the expectations of kids and help with their transition into a new school year. How can we help support them and lower their anxieties while also balancing work and parenting?

Audience Questions

Dr. Melinda Macht-Greenberg shares ways to support the new educational experience and methods to successfully balance the many demands that come with parenting, working, and teaching kids during a pandemic and answers questions about child development and returning to school.

  • Are there any other similar organizations to SEPAC (special education parent advisory council) or a parent teacher organization?
  • I love the hotline idea you’ve mentioned. Who might you recommend to run this hotline for schools? Who should be that initial point of contact?
  • What do you recommend for parents who have kids out of district and are not part of the local district’s SEPAC (special education parent advisory council)?
  • Do you know how schools will assess the “lost learning effect” for elementary school kids? Is this something that public schools will even do?
  • I am a child psychiatrist consulting to schools. Do you have suggestions on helping manage teacher anxiety?
  • Do you have any recommendations for how to share information with teachers so they don’t feel like they are being attacked by the parents? I’ve had the experience of trying to share info and having the teacher think I’m questioning their teaching abilities.
  • As parents, how do we explain or manage screen time limits when our kids are assigned 4 hours and 30 minutes of it every day during remote learning?
  • I have students that have had no motivation for online learning and parents are clearly overwhelmed. What are the ways parents can motivate young people to thrive through online learning?
  • It seems to me that online learning is all about the typical subjects such as math and history. Are schools encouraging the development of creative skills or the arts through online learning?
  • Some of my child’s teachers are recording hour-long instructional videos that he had a lot of trouble staying focused on because it lacks the engaging parts of a typical Zoom session. How do we motivate kids to watch prerecorded videos?
  • How can parents support children who have trouble staying focused, such as those diagnosed with ADHD, without becoming helicopter parents?
  • Can you elaborate on the “anchors of normalcy” you’ve mentioned?
  • Do you think that it’s important to prepare children for the potential to move to fully remote if schools shut down again or will that increase anxiety?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.

Presentation Slides

About Dr. Melinda Macht-Greenberg

Melinda Macht-Greenberg, PhD, is a Harvard-trained child psychologist and faculty member at Tufts University who provides expert advice to parents about children and their education. Dr. Macht-Greenberg also works with families on improving educational outcomes for their children in both private and public schools to maximize a child’s success.

Learn more about Dr. Macht-Greenberg

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