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Easing Virtual Learning Anxiety

December 17, 2020 • Our Blog • General Health
Virtual learning can be stressful for parents and children alike. Here’s how to identify and address the source of your child’s anxiety. Virtual learning can bring out frustrations and anxieties in even the most calm and confident children — and in their parents, too. Between adjusting to new technologies, feeling disconnected from teachers and classmates, and having to share work or learning space with parents and siblings, virtual learning can certainly be challenging. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to mitigate these challenges (some of which are more productive than others). While it may be difficult to avoid a tantrum or two during this strange time, the following strategies can help you and your child navigate virtual learning while minimizing anxiety:

1. Model Calm

It’s easy to let your child’s frustrations dictate your mood, but you can’t help your child if you’re as upset as they are — in fact, your bad mood could make the situation even worse. Instead, model a calm demeanor. If you need to, take a few deep breaths or even step out of the room to gather yourself. When you feel ready, speak to your child in a low, even voice, acknowledging the difficult reality of your child’s situation and asking what they think might help them adjust to the circumstances. Virtual learning is far from ideal, but there are steps you can take at home to make it easier on you and your child.

2. Make Adjustments

Once you’ve modeled calm behavior and helped your child calm down, open the lines of communication. Ask exactly what’s bothering them, and brainstorm ideas to improve the situation. Discuss steps you can take to ease their frustration or anxiety, whether it’s keeping their workspace more organized, writing down their passwords next to their computer, or speaking to their teacher about study strategies. Proactivity can also go a long way toward preventing future struggles. Plan ahead to help your child’s school day run smoothly — consider setting alarms for class start times or saving backup files of assignments to avoid serious issues in the event of technical difficulties.

3. Recognize High-Level Anxiety

Some level of stress and anxiety is almost a guarantee during this strange time, but it’s important to be able to recognize when your child’s emotional state demands professional attention. If your child is sleeping or eating notably more or less than usual, losing interest in activities they usually enjoy, or experiencing unexplained physical symptoms such as dizziness, stomachaches, or nausea, it may be time to reach out to your child’s pediatrician. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms of severe anxiety, or if they are more generally struggling with the adjustment to virtual learning, reach out to Kids’ Health. A leading pediatric clinic in Eastern Massachusetts, Kids’ Health is a family-centric, independently owned practice dedicated to providing your child with the best possible care. To make an appointment, reach out to us today....