Students heading back to school these days have a different emotional landscape to navigate than students many years ago.
The difference is social media. Gone are the days of saying good-bye to your friends for an entire summer and not seeing them again until the first day of school.
Now friends are just a call, text or Snap away.
This creates a more connected social group for most children, but can also create extra anxiety around returning back to school. Social media can create more anxiety in general, but especially for children who are at a time in their life when the support and judgment of peers is of significant importance.
What can parents do to ease this anxiety? Communicate.
There is no substitute for engaged communication when it comes to students and online interactions.
Social media can have a profound effect on anyone’s mental health and emotional well-being, but children and teens are most susceptible to those affects.
Talking about what’s happening online with your student can help them gain some perspective. Few people’s lives actually look the way they appear on Instagram and this is true for their peers as well.
Good luck this year students, parents and teachers!