Majority of teens express "return concern" as they head back to school

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Posted at 11:41 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 12:41:20-04

A new survey found 78% of teens are worried about getting COVID as they return to school. But there are ways to ease the return concern.

"My concern is how do I send her to school in a large gathering when I'm not even comfortable myself," said one Bell County mother.

A new survey by The Allstate Foundation polled 1,000 teens to ask how they felt about the upcoming school year, the top three responses were uncertain, nervous and stressed.

"But certainly very telling is 8 in 10 youth are worried about the pandemic but they're more worried about their mental health than their physical health which is pretty interesting," said Laura Freveletti with The Allstate Foundation.

Freveletti says prioritizing social and emotional needs is critical.

"We call this the return concern. One of the ways to help parents through this return concern is through daily mindfulness practices. It helps kids feel more relaxed, more present, more confident," said Freveletti.

The foundation works with Inner Explorer to offer guided mindfulness to schools and families. It's proven to reduce stress by 43% in the classrooms but more than 50% of students polled haven't yet tried mindfulness.

Writing is also a proven method of reducing stress and even taking a "virtual" field trip can help too.

All of these resources are available in both English and Spanish through the Allstate Foundation's resources for Social and Emotional Learning.

But just as important is continuing the conversation with your student throughout the school year.

Adjust your plans accordingly and be proactive in reducing those first day jitters that may last well beyond the first day.