The top concerns of kids heading back to school

And the top 5 things parents can do to help

Social-Emotional learning can help

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new survey reveals the things kids are most concerned about as they head back to school.

The Allstate Foundation surveyed 1,000 teens, ages 13 - 18. They found 78% are worried about the coronavirus. But in general, kids are more worried about mental health than physical health. Of teens who responded to the survey, 56% are worried about mental health issues and 49% worry about physical health.

The survey found 68% of teenagers going back to school are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about racism.

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In the context of world events over the past 6 months, 73% of teens said they are more worried about their futures.

The Allstate Foundation is offering 5 steps to help teens right now.

Allstate Foundation experts say “skills to handle resilience, empathy, and teamwork are better predictors of lifelong success than academic ability alone.”

Practicing meditation and mindfulness are being credited with reducing stress. The Allstate Foundation survey found 62% of teens say worry and anxiety keep them from being who they want to be. A program called “Inner Explorer” offers 5-10 minute daily audio-guided mindfulness practices. They claim the practice can help improve grades by 28%, decrease teacher stress by 43%, decrease behavioral issues by 60%, and increase the average GPA by 15%.

The Soar with Wings program provides digital lessons, video resources, and home connections that are all centered around social and emotional learning. There are videos and activities that are designed to learn and apply what is called “Words to Live By.” They say the key pillars are self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills.

The Allstate Foundation says worry about racism is a major concern of students returning to school. Parents can find information on talking to kids about racism and “owning your power to raise kids who challenge racism.

The Allstate Foundation partner Facing History and Ourselves offers a guide to student journaling during the coronavirus. They say journaling can provide students a space to process their thoughts, feelings, and uncertainties.