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Mentally preparing children to return to classrooms with Cleveland Clinic pediatric psychologist Dr. Emily Mudd: 3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney

Dr. Mudd explains why it's so important to get kids back in classrooms and how to thoughtfully prepare for the transition, on this week's podcast

CLEVELAND — Governor Mike DeWine has set the target to get schools back to in-person learning for March 1, making it increasingly important to mentally prepare children to make that transition as that date approaches. 

On this week's 3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney podcast, pediatric psychologist Dr. Emily Mudd, PhD at Cleveland Clinic Children's explains why returning to in-person learning is so important for students, what parents should watch out for as everyone adjusts, and what long-lasting impacts might await children after nearly a year of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In person learning is absolutely critical for academic motivation, for social development, and it’s also really important for things that some families may not think about: that a lot of children receive mental health services in school," Dr. Mudd tells me in this week's podcast, out February 20.

Plus, 3News reporter Lindsay Buckingham shares why Alpine Valley Resort and the Cleveland Metroparks are the winter fun family destinations you Need to Know in NEO, and to go along with that, I break down why the metroparks accounts are such A Good Follow on Twitter with its #TenToExplore campaign, and Instagram.

Scroll down for the video version and for links to listen on your favorite podcast platform

Whether most school districts in the state are able to successfully offer in-person learning option by March 1, the reality is it will happen eventually, so it's important to be prepared.

 "The social aspect of school is really important. Children are not used to learning in isolation," Dr Mudd says. "The relationships around school really motivate children to learn."

Dr. Mudd went on to say that if that motivational factor is missing at home, it could impact both social and cognitive learning (gaining knowledge).

Whether your children are already back in classrooms or have been continuing to learn online, the transition to coming together will be a big adjustment for everyone.

Dr. Mudd covers a few red flags to watch out for, that might indicate a child is having difficulty coping with the change.

"If they have a drop in grades, if you feel like they're losing interest, [exhibit] increased sleepiness or distraction, [show]  increased physical complaints, stomach aches, headaches, things like that, it’s really important that we address these because these are symptoms and signs of anxiety and depression, or can be signs of that in a medical health diagnoses in children," Dr. Mudd says. "It’s really important to use your pediatrician as a resource and you can get a referral to a mental health professional as well."

There’s lots to consider, from all sides, as we move to thoughtfully get kids back in school buildings, including the impact the past year has had on them, which Dr. Mudd explores in the podcast, as well.

For more on what to consider as children prepare to return to in-person learning, listen to the full conversation by searching for "3 Things to know with Stephanie Haney" wherever you get your podcasts, or follow your preferred link below: 

If you enjoy the show, remember to subscribe, leave a rating and review, and share it with your friends to help us connect with more people in Northeast Ohio.

Check out more episodes of the 3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney podcast at the links below.

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