“Heading back to school can be stressful for children even when there’s no global pandemic to worry about.

Now, this ‘return to normalcy’ after COVID-19 lockdowns makes it more important than ever to pay attention to children’s mental health, says Dr. Tyler Black, assistant clinical professor at UBC faculty of medicine’s department of psychiatry.

Dr. Black explains why parents of school-aged children and educators need to consider a gentle approach to easing kids back to class, or as he advises: “less homework and more leeway.”

Many have looked forward to the start of a full-time, in-person school year as something of a return to normalcy. What do you think it’s likely to do for children’s mental health?

It’s hard to say one thing because it’s different for everyone. The unconventional schooling of the past year and a half worked well for some children and not for others. Some kids and families benefited from less in-person school during the pandemic—working well with technology and avoiding things like bullying and those types of things—while others really struggled with the changes, missing socializing, sporting events and more.”

Read more of Dr. Black’s interview on How to Ease Back-to-School Stress for School-Age Kids at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine.

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