What parents can do to prepare kids for school

By Megan Walchuk

Parents have an important role to play in easing the school transition for their kids, and preparing them for COVID regulations, according to Monica Armour, of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario.

Giving them independence with some basic self-care will help limit the need for close contact with staff, and control the spread, she said. That could include tying their shoes, zipping their jackets, opening and closing food containers and getting their shoes on and off.

Proper hand washing skills are also important, she added.

“There are several methods out there that people use that get the right amount of time in, so that the hands are washed properly – it’s not just a swish and flick and then you’re done. Find a method and teach it to your child, because it’s easier to learn that when it’s one on one or a couple on one, rather than 20 to 1.”

Practicing wearing a mask indoors at home is another way parents can help their child adjust to a new normal, she said.

“Once they go back in, they’re going to be wearing it all day, with very few breaks,” she said. “There’s a difference between going into a store and knowing that you’ll only be a short while, and wearing that mask for a longer period of time. You want to take it off, but you can’t, so it’s a matter of building that up and starting as soon as possible to build that time up.”