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  • Here's How You Can Emotionally Support Your Tweens And Teens For F2F Classes

    Be ready for a range of emotions and thoughts from your child and remember to take it easy on them.
    by Gail Reyes Galang, Ph.D. . Published Aug 22, 2022
Here's How You Can Emotionally Support Your Tweens And Teens For F2F Classes
  • It's officially back to school season and parents and students will need to prepare for a new style of teaching and learning, that is the HyFlex or Hybrid-Flexible modality. To explain it simply, hyflex learning uses a combination of in-person and online learning.

    Depending on their groupings, some students are asked to report onsite on specific days, while the rest of their classmates join the class online. Starting November 2, 2022, DepEd expects all public and private schools to have transitioned to five days of in-person classes. 

    While many teens anticipate more onsite classes positively, be aware that it might not be the same for your child. Assure your teen that it is normal to have mixed emotions about returning on campus.

    3 Things Your Teen Or Tween Might Be Feeling With F2F Classes

    Here are some feelings to watch out for:

    1. Feeling isolated

    Not all teens are extroverts, who are outspoken, outgoing, and eager to mingle with classmates.If your teen is an introvert, being onsite with 20 others can be overwhelming. Before classes begin or during the first few weeks of classes, create an opportunity for them to spend longer time with one or two persons who go to the same school. This will allow them to talk about their feelings, which will make them realize that they are not alone. 

    2. Feeling awkward

    Expect that your teens may feel awkward about blending in right away. After two years of not seeing each other, they return to school with obvious physical changes in their bodies. Boys might be conscious of their heights and cracking voices, while girls may compare their bodies with those whose curves have become more pronounced.

    'Expect your children to come home feeling frustrated and anxious. Understand that they’ve been removed from their home routine and comfort zone.'

    Some students may feel worried about being teased for wearing braces, for having facial hair, and/or acne. It would help if you brief your teen on what to anticipate and to reassure them that each person goes through puberty differently. 

    RELATED: Practical Guide For Teaching Your Kids About Sex: Puberty And Periods

    3. Feeling confused

    Your teens will need to learn things on their own. Unlike in elementary years where parents usually prepare things for them, now, they are expected to listen, understand, and follow instructions more independently. Even with gentle reminders, they will still miss a thing or two and in these instances, being kind to failure will help ease negative thoughts and feelings.


    'Being kind to failure will help ease negative thoughts and feelings.

    They may be anxious too about how other classmates seem to pick up information more quickly, so it's best to help them find ways to be more alert and organized. 

    Possible Complaints From Kids As They Adjust To F2F Classes

    As parents, expect your children to come home feeling frustrated and anxious. Understand that they’ve been removed from their home routine and comfort zone. Some possible complaints about the the Hyflex/Hybrid-Flexible transition period may sound like the following:

    • “There’s too much work!” Adding onsite meetings to online classes may seem like an extra layer of burden to some teens. Each modality may impose tasks that were not done in the last two years of pure online learning. You can tell them that “Anxiety doesn’t get better when you avoid them. In fact, procrastination may paralyze you at some point. You will only feel more overwhelmed.” 
    • “I’m going to fail for sure.” Change the mindset to ‘failure is part of success.’ No one gets it right the first time. Ask help from those who can help. However, if your teen does not ask you for assistance, do not volunteer to fix the problem. Allow them to develop problem-solving skills, which they will need later on in adult life.
    • “I can’t catch up.” Sometimes it may feel that things are moving too fast. It might help to teach your teens the power of mindfulness exercises like breathwork, meditation, and simple yoga. This will offer clarity to address their mental fog. 
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    To lessen their anxiety, help your teens prepare what they may need for school like their wellness kits (i.e.spare facemasks, alcohol, wipes, drinking bottles), emergency go-bags (whistle, energy bars, personal medical kits, etc.) Read the student handbook together to be clear about the school’s regulations on dress code and haircut. When in doubt, it is safe to be guided by the principles of simplicity, appropriateness, and safety. 

    When To See A Professional

    If reassurance does not help and you feel that your teen is experiencing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), it is best to see a professional if certain symptoms linger for more than two weeks. Some common symptoms of GAD include:

    • excessive worrying
    • refusal to attend school (either online or onsite)
    • sleep problems
    • unexplained fatigue
    • mood swings
    • poor concentration and school performance, etc. 

    Discussing your concerns with your teen’s teacher and guidance counselor will be beneficial, most especially to your teenager. 

    Dr. Gail Reyes Galang is chair of the Family Studies program of Miriam College where she also teaches under the Department of Psychology. She is currently the associate director of the Center for Peace Education. Follow her on Instagram @gailfrancesgalang



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