Back to class: A game plan for reducing anxiety

Published 5:32 pm Monday, September 27, 2021

Back-to-school supplies were a bit different this year for 12-year-old Audrey Pan.
Along with a day planner, an array of pens and a thick notebook, Audrey added face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
“I’m not sure how it’s going to completely work,” said Audrey of her middle school in Hacienda Heights, California. “How many kids are going to be in each classroom? Are we going to have a table where we sit together?”
Audrey, like many across the country, spent the last school year in a virtual classroom interacting with other students and teachers only via a computer screen. Going back to in-person learning with potential restrictions only added to her anxiety.
“As students prepare to return, they will be facing a host of intensified challenges,” said Anthious Boone, an elementary school principal in Pennsylvania. He cited mask-wearing and learning how to socialize again with peers as some of these challenges.
But parents can help prepare their children for what may be a tough transition.
“As parents endeavor to help their children cope with potential back-to-school anxiety,” Boone said, “it is absolutely imperative that they stay well-connected with both the school and their children.”
Ironton residents, Chris and Cheri Otworth, believe it is very important to have a positive relationship with the local school district. They recognize the balancing act school districts have in meeting the challenges of the pandemic. Chris stated, “As parents, we want our children to be safe and not get sick. At the same time, we also know our children need to get an education.” As conscientious parents, they recognize that they must do their part to ensure the safety of their children.
While coronavirus variants have stoked pandemic anxieties, the Pans have endeavored not to overlook other challenges their daughter may face.
One of their favorite resources is jw.org, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses that is free to all. Topics like “What’s a Real Friend?” and “Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists” are addressed there in a video series for young people that Audrey recommends to everyone.
The website has some really cool information that has helped me prepare for back to school,” she said. “I think it can really benefit any student who is nervous about going back. They should really check it out!”
The Otworth family also has found jw.org to be a valuable resource.
Cheri noted, “It is hard times to live in today. It is hard to be parents and hard to be children. But we are all in the struggle together.”
In their experience, the Bible based counsel presented on the website can help every member of the family to be successful and make good decisions.

Submitted by Jehovah’s Witnesses – United States of America