NEW YORK (August 17, 2020) -- Back-to-school season this year presents unique challenges for parents, teachers and students. Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, offers recommendations for parents to help their children cope with the anxiety and stress of back-to-school during COVID-19.

  • Communicate with your child about back-to-school plans and listen to their concerns.  Encourage them to be flexible as plans may continue to change.
  • Don’t be afraid to discuss coronavirus, but be age-appropriate and reassuring.  As much as possible try to project a sense of calm and control.
  • Help your child understand the importance of social distancing, handwashing, and wearing a mask.
  • Whether your child is going to a classroom, being homeschooled, or participating in virtual classes, try to help them focus on the positive aspects of the experience.
  • Make sure your child is eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping physically active.
  • Try to maintain a structured daily routine at home.
  • Remind teenagers often that they are helping to protect others by following health guidelines.
  • If your child is participating in distance learning, create opportunities for them to socialize safely with friends, perhaps via video chats or FaceTime.

It is natural to be anxious during this time, but if anxiety begins to impair your child’s or your own ability to function, that is the time to seek professional assistance.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia, as well as research on suicide prevention. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $408 million to fund more than 4,800 leading scientists around the world, which has led to over $4 billion in additional funding. 100% of every dollar donated for research is invested in research grants. BBRF operating expenses are covered by separate foundation grants. BBRF is the producer of the Emmy® nominated public television series Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, which aims to remove the stigma of mental illness and demonstrate that with help, there is hope.

Helping Your Child Cope with Back-to-School Stress Amidst COVID-19