How to Mentally Prepare Children for Resumption of Face-to-Face Learning

After months of closure, schools have begun to reopen. Face-to-face learning resumes after month of online learning at home. How can we mentally and psychologically prepare children before they go back to school? Dr. Aisah Dahlan explains what parents can do as their children are getting ready to go back to school.

Students at MTs Budi Mulya Palangkaraya City sit in the classroom with each desk separated one meter apart. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, SOUTH JAKARTA – Schools have been closed since March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19, and students have been learning remotely. However, the Indonesian government recently opens schools and resumes face-to-face learning.

Children may have to readjust to the new habits. To mentally and psychologically prepare students for the resumption of face-to-face earning, Dr. Aisah Dahlan, an expert on neuroparenting, said parents and teachers must understand the children’s need for adaptation and not to quickly scold them when they make mistakes or refuse to cooperate.

 “If the children play with their friends without maintaining physical distancing or wearing face masks, don’t scold them immediately. If there’s no one around, let them take off the face masks for three minutes.  If they are immediately scolded, your children's emotions can drop into fear, sadness, or apathy," said dr. Aisah in the Islamic Parenting webinar held with Aksi Cepat Tanggap, Friday (1/14/2022).

When the children feel bored, annoyed, tired, hungry, or difficult to understand, we adults must understand them because their emotions are not yet stable. Listen to them and validate their emotions Find out why, but don’t rush to give advice.

"Listen when your child says, 'Mom, I'm tired of going back to school', and validates him, 'Yes, son, I know you’re tired.’ That's all. Children don't want advice. They just want to be understood. The way to understand them is to listen,” he explained.

Islamic Parenting Webinar with Dr. Aisah Dahlan. (ACTNews)

Dr. Aisah added that adults must first be role models in managing emotions. Seeing their parents' and teachers’ emotional management will help build the children’s emotional intelligence.

“Emotional intelligence helps adaptability, and adaptive intelligence can help intellectual intelligence," she said.

Second, introduce a variety of emotions to children. There are four types of human emotions, namely sadness, fear, anger, and joy. Parents must encourage their children to express their emotions when they are sad, afraid, angry, or happy.

Children must be given the understanding that emotions are natural. The next step for their parents and teachers is to make sure the children learn to show their emotions.

"That's how we should manage children’s mental and mind. Both the ways we think and feel, and our thoughts and feelings are influenced by emotions," she explained.