Back to in-person school and masks? Some Iowa kids may not be coping well

DES MOINES — The pandemic’s been rough on some Iowa kids, many of whom are back to in-person classes and wearing masks again. A child psychologist suggests parents and teachers need to keep an eye on the children to see how they’re adjusting.

Dr. Jason Horowitz says most kids are better off being with their peers, but that’s not always the case. Horowitz says, “Kids who may be prone to anxiety particularly in social situations may have difficulty making the transition from what may have been more comfortable for them, doing school at home or doing school virtually.”

There are some warning signs parents can watch for that may indicate the child is having a hard time with the transition. ¬†“It comes out in a lot of ways,” he says. “It comes out behaviorally, it may come out in sort of externalized behavior and misbehavior, acting out. For some kids it comes out in the more internalizing way, they become withdrawn or anxious or depressed.”

Horowitz says other red flags your child might be having trouble adjusting include new misbehaviors you haven’t seen before. ¬†Horowitz says, “Teachers are really good at looking for those kinds of warning signs and I’m sure that they will be doing that.”

He says it’s up to parents and teachers to help kids make the adjustments needed to flourish with their peers.

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