DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- With a new school year nearing, it's almost time for students to return to the classroom after an unusual year of learning and a change in our daily routine.
"Children who have a routine - they for sure feel more confident and prepared in terms of what they're going to be doing and how they're going to approach the day, the week, their life," Jonathon Ponser, a Clinical Professional Counselor and Child Therapy for Memorial Behavioral Health said. "But in those other situations, the child might be acting out and have anxiety or depression."
Ponser says parents to help prepare their kids for a back-to-school routine - especially after a year where the majority of learning was done at home. Kids also need to be ready mask wearing to once again return in the classroom.
"If you've been going throughout the summer - not having a mask on a whole lot - this is going to be another change of having to have this thing on all day long," Ponser said. "So, maybe OK so you're tablet time - you're going to wear your mask during that time just so you're getting used to having to do that so that way when you're in the school environment - if they're requiring that, it won't be as big of an obstacle to overcome."
Ponser says his experience with families with young kids that limiting screen time will be the hardest adjustment for the new school year, after studies showed tablet-use was up for kids in the U.S. during the Pandemic.
"Setting the boundaries and expectations for when screen time is going to be - you'll still be able to have screen time but you have to be ready for a few weeks of whining and trying to bargain," Ponser said. "But as long as you stick with it, it'll go away and it will be fine. If you start to give in - you can do that first and then do homework later on, you're going to get yourself into a problem situation."
Ponser also suggest getting your kids to bed earlier is another way to get them in a routine to help get off to a successful start to the new school year.