Start the school year with some structure, write it down. Let kids come up with some of their structure so they feel invested.
Roll with the flow of changes and unknowns. There will be changes- how do you roll with it?
Have some common back to school rituals that you usually do to make some of the unfamiliar feel familiar.
Ask kids how they feel about starting school. Use opened ended questions, multiple choice and correct me if I’m wrong questions.
Remain positive and confident in your decisions about what's best for you and your family. No decision will feel 100% right when everything around you feels so wrong right now.
Be honest about how you're feeling with developmentally appropriate words and content. Kids will learn from you.
Look for opportunities in all the distress for fun, play, time to connect.
Consider the separation anxiety that kids might be feeling, despite the age, given how isolated they've been over the last 6 months.
Parents be aware of your own anxieties and distress- kids will pick up on the energy.
Remember, this is a pandemic that we've had to parent through! A time that will be noted in history for how hard it was to navigate. Don't forget we survived and did what we had to do to make it work. You are amazing!