For many, the COVID-19 pandemic hit harder and faster than ever imaginable. As adults, we’ve really tried to problem solve our way through it, being as durable and flexible as we could (while also maintaining a sense of safety). As we have been running around keeping our caps on, parents have had to think about the safety and security of their children. A lot has changed in children’s lives, too, and when they do not know how to react to something, they look to their parents for guidance on how to react to behave to a certain predicament.
During the pandemic businesses, schools, and most public areas were closed off while families went into isolation. Children were now at home unable to visit anyone or go anywhere which is a vital point in a child’s development. While parents attempted to keep their children caught up with schoolwork as well as keeping them entertained, they could be finding signs of stress and being overwhelmed. School Psychologist, Kathy Sievering, from The National Association of School Psychologists, states that during this time children have shown signs of depression and anxiety through irritability, avoidance, clinginess, and other forms of out of character behaviors. The struggle for parents was to then find ways to keep their children’s mental health on good terms. This could be by finding the time to talk calmly with them, monitoring their social media and TV viewing, practicing basic hygiene and healthy lifestyles, and keeping them in touch with family, friends, and school role models. 
As more than a year has gone by since lockdown, and vaccines are being distributed as well as cases going down, things are opening back up. As we start opening back up, it means children will have to go back to school and businesses will be up and running again. But it seems going back to normal since adopting our “new normal” isn’t going to be as easy as we thought it would be. Children’s social skills, as well as our own, have been halted for the past year and may be a little rusty. The desire to see people, wanting to go out, or do anything may also be lacking. Mattering on the child, they could have thrived in school or had a hard time retaining information through online schooling. So, this comes in with the idea of how we can bring children back into social circles, as well as making sure that they aren’t too stressed over falling behind in learning. 
Routine plays a large part in making sure children can get back into healthy social and learning environments. Kaiser Permanente suggests that getting kids involved with family and friends or having them join clubs or sports could help them get back into social life while maintaining a routine. Making sure they get exercise, good sleep, and structured daily routines will make this easier on them. Keep them positive and make sure they are doing okay from time to time. For learning, calling the teacher in advance could help with a child who may feel behind in their learning. This way, a teacher can help them and are aware of the struggles the child may have. Teachers may also have some resourceful tips that you could probably introduce at home to help in the learning process. 
This is both an exciting and stressful time for everyone, but with the right tools and the strengths to get through it, you will be able to provide a healthy transition for your children back into social and learning circles. Nothing is better than seeing those smiling faces.