How the new school year could affect children's mental health |

How the new school year could affect children's mental health

Jordyn Reed
Updated: August 13, 2020 10:49 PM
Created: August 13, 2020 10:08 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Whether it's in-person, online or hybrid learning, there will be an adjustment period for students this year and it could affect their mental health.

On Thursday, Mayo Clinic pediatrician and Ask the Mayo Mom host Dr. Angela Mattke had child psychologist Dr. Stephen Whiteside join her on Facebook to about the state of mental health. One of the larger topics was about kids returning to school and what parents and students can expect.

In Minnesota, the way kids learn will be left up to each district. Some are going back to the classroom and while Dr. Whiteside said there are mental health benefits of going back in the traditional setting, there will be some challenges.

"Such as wearing masks, there's going to be many kids that's just really difficult for age appropriate reasons because having something on your face, in place, is not something that seven year olds do very well," Dr. Whiteside said. "Some kids are just more sensitive and it's just really uncomfortable, kids are more fidgety, and it's going to be hard to keep masks on, and that can be a source of stress."

To help kids get used to wearing masks and practicing their hygiene measures, Dr. Mattke came up with an idea or two.

"Practicing it at home, giving them opportunities, letting them explore it, feel it, touch it, or let them be a part of choosing their mask or the color or decorating it and those kind of things that give them a little bit of feeling of control over the situation," Dr. Mattke explained.

If school districts decide to go strictly online or hybrid, that will still create issues too when it comes to home life.

"Structure is so important," Dr. Whiteside said. "It's going to be really hard. Especially for families that have one working parent at home, or a single parent or have both parents working. It's going to be stressful for everybody."

To watch the full presentation click here and for more resources from Mayo Clinic click here.

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