ARIZONA NEWS

Psychiatrist gives parents tips to help kids return to educational setting

Jul 27, 2020, 4:35 AM

PHOENIX — As children and their families prepare for the upcoming school year, one mental health expert is advising guardians how to mitigate side effects students may experience due to an abrupt return to an academic atmosphere.

“After being home for nearly half the year, there’s some children that may not be fully mentally and socially conditioned to jump right back into the full academic environment,” Dr. Larry Mitnaul, a psychiatrist, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

To help their children transition back into a learning environment, Mitnaul said parents must be patient with themselves and others around them since this upcoming school year is going to be an ongoing process.

Mitnaul also advised parents to engage in simple, open talk with their children.

“Ask them what their hopes, aspirations and maybe some of their fears and frustrations about what his next year will bring,” he added.

These questions will help parents gauge where their children are and how much they know, according to Mitnaul.

An open conversation can be the beginning of addressing any important gaps that may be within their knowledge — whether regarding returning to school, why they’re not isolated anymore or the coronavirus pandemic as a whole.

“You can imagine a preschooler or kindergartener that has some awareness of COVID-19 may have some kind of fanciful magical beliefs about how it gets transmitted or what it might do and what the consequences might be,” Mitnaul said.

“Sometimes a very simple answer can be the thing that decreases their sense of worry or dread.”

The mental health professional also said parents shouldn’t be surprised if their children display stagnation or regression when it comes to social interactions.

Due to the widespread use of face coverings, Mitnaul said children may be struggling to accurately interpret social cues.

If a child can’t see someone smile or read someone’s expression, they may act different than usual, according to Mitnaul.

He said he’s already seen a major decrease in his adolescent patients’ social skills due to the social constraints of face masks.

Mitnaul has also advised parents and guardians to establish routines that’ll help children succeed as much as possible when they finally return to an educational setting.

Introducing a set bed time, wake up time, lunch and dinner time and play time will provide children with the the sort of structure necessary for success, Mitnaul said.

While the coronavirus pandemic has upended normalcy in the lives of parents and their children, Mitnaul said established routines can better equip students to navigate uncertain times.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A 43-year-old man died after driving his vehicle into the bottom of a dry canal in Phoenix on Feb. ...

KTAR.com

43-year-old man dead after driving vehicle into canal in Phoenix

A 43-year-old man died after driving his vehicle into the bottom of a dry canal in Phoenix on Tuesday evening, authorities said.

29 minutes ago

A dust storm rolled through metro Phoenix on Feb. 28, 2024. (ADOT Photo)...

KTAR.com

Dust storm rolls through metro Phoenix during evening rush hour

Metro Phoenix drivers headed home during evening rush hour had to fight through a dust storm on Wednesday.

1 hour ago

A student was found with a gun at Youngker High School in Buckeye on Feb. 28, 2024. (Google Maps Sc...

KTAR.com

Student found with gun at West Valley high school

A student was found with a gun at a West Valley high school on Wednesday, authorities said.

3 hours ago

The front end blade of an Arizona Department of Transportation snowplow...

Kevin Stone

Here’s the scoop: ADOT reveals results of name-a-snowplow contest

After tallying more than 9,500 votes, the Arizona Department of Transportation revealed three winners for its second name-a-snowplow contest.

5 hours ago

A sign reading "for lease" is seen in the foreground with a house behind it...

Kevin Stone

Arizona AG accuses landlords of illegally conspiring to raise rents in Phoenix, Tucson areas

Arizona's attorney general filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing multiple companies of illegally conspiring to fix rent prices in Phoenix and Tucson.

6 hours ago

A Frontier Airlines plane can be seen on the ground, casting a shadow, in a file photo...

Kevin Stone

Frontier Airlines adding nonstop service between Phoenix and Montana city

Discount carrier Frontier Airlines will launch new nonstop service between Phoenix and Montana this spring.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Psychiatrist gives parents tips to help kids return to educational setting