The Care House of the Pee Dee helping parents and students handle back-to-school stress

Pee Dee advocacy centers helps parents, students relieve stress

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - In the midst of a pandemic, thoughts of returning to school can be stressful for parents and their children, so the Care House of the Pee Dee child advocacy center is finding ways to help.

The organization held a Zoom meeting last week with parents to discuss how to handle the stress of returning to school.

Child therapist Brandi McGee said this school year is different from anything they’ve ever seen.

“It’s new for the children, it’s new for the parents, it’s new for teachers and the school districts. It’s new for everyone and everyone is going to have stress, so it’s important to show our children how to handle that stress,” said McGee.

With many different learning options proposed by school districts across the Pee Dee, parents are having to make the decisions they feel are best for their child’s education and health.

McGee said communication is important for relieving stress, and parents should discuss the learning options with their children and communicate which option they feel is best.

“When it comes to relieving that stress and anxiety, think about what your child needs, what’s best for them, think about their health, how do they learn and also how do parents fit it in with their routine and work schedule,” said McGee.

McGee said there are several techniques she recommends for relieving stress such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises and any activity where parents can spend quality time with their children.

She said it’s also important for parents to not express their stress and anxiety in front of their children, so they don’t emulate those feelings.

“If we’re sitting here and thinking this school year is going to be so stressful, and I don’t know what we’re going to do or how we’re going to make it, your child is going to wonder how they’re going to make it and they’ll go into the first day of school feeling that way. Whereas if you maintain your composure and work through the stress with them, and realize this may be hard, but we can do this,” said McGee.

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