Returning To School

Our Family Therapist gives tips on how you can help your child with change.

With schools returning next week, you’re most likely breathing a huge sigh of relief or perhaps a bit frustrated at the staged returns due to COVID.  

Wherever you’re at, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings (they’re all ok).  

First, congratulate yourself on getting through to this point. You’ve had a pretty big storm to get through!  

Now, it’s time to start thinking about your child at this time of change and how you can best prepare them for the transition back to school.  

It will be a huge change, potentially even more difficult than the start of this year or when they returned for a few weeks before Easter. 

Your child is returning to a once well-established routine. BUT, the school environment will be different, social distancing, face masks, hand hygiene….. 

This change, like any, will take a bit of time to adjust, for you, your child and the rest of the family. 

Whether your child was one who flourished learning at home or tested you to your limits, your child and their friends will be feeling a range of emotions about returning to school.  

They may feel unsure, worried, nervous, anxious, sad, happy, excited or overwhelmed.

Whatever your child is feeling, it’s important to start a good routine to help your child feel a little more in control of the situation and know what to expect when returning to school.    

4 top tips to help your child get ready for school

 1. Encourage your child to share how they’re feeling with you, their friends, teachers and school staff – remember there are no right or wrong feelings.   

2. Start to implement old routines (if they have changed over the last few weeks or months) – get up at the same time as you would when leaving home for school. Go to bed at the same time each night.   

3. If your child has started to feel worried, sad or anxious, help them practice self-care and diffuse the situation – go for a walk outside with a family member, friend or dog (if you have one). Help your child do the things that usually make them happy.  

4. If you are finding it difficult to manage your child’s worries or feelings, reach out for some specialised support today. 

 

Remember, it took you some time to adjust with your child learning at home – but, you did it (yay). Now, it will take a little bit of time to re-adjust when they go back to school. You’ve got this!  

If you're finding it difficult to manage your child’s worries or feelings, reach out for some specialised support today.

Note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on the 4 October 2020   

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