Many kids are struggling as they come out of pandemic isolation. Experts advise what may help with the transition

Emerging from pandemic isolation can be a difficult adjustment for your kids.

(CNN)I tapped gently on the driver's window while my toddler pressed his back to the passenger door inside the car.

"I don't want to go!" he wailed.
We were just over a week into day care drop-off, and the excitement of new people and spaces had worn off. A disorienting world of masks and unrecognizable faces was sinking in.
    For the past 14 months as the pandemic raged, we'd been isolated at home, extra cautious because of my chronic health issues. My 3-year-old was used to the sameness of the days and the constancy of our unit. And now everything was changing.
      Long before the Covid-19 vaccine took full effect in the grown-ups, we'd been weighing the risks of sending him and his 8-year-old sister back to school and how to prepare for an unpredictable transition.
      Now here we were and, despite feverish research and counseling support, I was in a day care parking lot, grasping at straws.
      We had watched Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, advise the United States on the pandemic. But as Nikki Raymond, CEO of behavioral health and family preservation service provider Georgia HOPE noted, there was no one as visible speaking out about the inevitable mental health fallout -- and what we should do for ourselves and our kids.
        Surely there were other families now trying to help their kids adjust to the transition to reopening as vaccines became more widely available in the United States. Here's what health and education experts said about managing your kids' mental health while expanding their once limited circles.

        Can our kids return to in-person learning?

        When deciding if your unvaccinated kids should stay at home or go back to school, it's easy for parents (who have a choice) to get caught in a loop of second-guessing themselves.
        "Quiet the noise, focus on who you trust and be honest about your comfort levels and family's needs," said Erica Fener-Sitkoff, clinical psychologist and executive director of Voices for Georgia's Children, a children's advocacy nonprofit.
        For starters, avoid comparing your options to other families' options. Lean on trusted sources for decision-making, whether it's your kid's pediatrician, your own doctors (if you're an immunocompromised adult), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the American Academy of Pediatrics, Fener-Sitkoff said.
        Next, identify your boundaries. Be honest about what you're comfortable with and what you're not ready for yet. Write it down, come back to it, and make changes when you need to. Keeping a log will provide a clear reference and help instill confidence in what you decide, Fener-Sitkoff said.

        Talk to your kids

        Whether you have toddlers, tweens or t