COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) – Compared to previous “normal” school days, this school year can lead to anxiety for some students.
Wanda Rush, a guidance counselor for Lowndes County High School, said now, more than ever, parents need to be aware of their children’s emotions and mental health.
Because of this, she sent out a survey to see how students are doing mentally.
“A lot of them responded and they said they were doing great, and then there were a few who said they were struggling,” Rush said.
Today’s new norm can especially impact students who attend school virtually.
“Their friends are at school and they’re at home, and they don’t want to be at home but mom feels like that’s the best thing for them.”
Such isolation can negatively affect students, and in many cases, parents are the last to know, she said.
“A lot of times, let’s be honest kids are not going to go to their parents.”
Because of this, she said it’s the parents’ responsibility to be aware.
She advises parents to question their children, ask their children if they are OK.
And if the child is not OK, let them know their feelings are valid
“Keep the lines of communication open; don’t fuss because they’re feeling a certain way,” she said. “Their feelings are just feelings; they’re real.”
Parents can encourage their children to meditate or listen to music when appropriate. According to Rush, playing games can also be helpful.
For students who are not able to be with their friends, parents can encourage their children to have positive conversations with friends through social media
Remind children everything will get better.
“It may be tense for a while until we see those numbers go down, so it’s OK and you’re going to be OK.”