Addressing student anxiety over COVID, psychologist shares advice

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 18, 2021

(LEX 18) — As students across Kentucky start yet another school year amidst the pandemic, some may feel anxiety getting back into the classroom.

Child clinical psychologist Michelle Martel has some advice for parents in order to help decrease anxiety in their kids.

"If you can stay calm, even if it's just in front of them if you can limit their news access to scary-sounding stories, that will go a really long way," she said.

She said another way to decrease anxiety is to make masks fun.

"For most parents, they may be familiar with potty training," she explained. "One of the first things you try to do for potty training is to make it fun. Fun underwear or fun toilet. Mask wearing is kind of the same way with the younger child. You want to make it fun by maybe finding a mask with their favorite character. But for all kids, even older adolescents you want to make sure it's comfortable so that they're more likely to wear it, feel comfortable wearing it."

She said as we continue through the school year, showing compassion and patience will go a long way to get us all through this tough time.