School’s back – Hooray! NOT😞

Going back to school after being at home for weeks, isn’t going to be easy for everyone

There will be a lot of children who will have liked being at home during the global pandemic. They may feel more acknowledged or supported or more comfortable in their own environment.

Supporting children through this transition period is vital in being able to help them come to terms with the inevitable change that is occurring.

They may not yet have the tools to deal with moving from feeling safe and secure at home to back to the school environment where almost everything has changed.

Here are some ideas and suggestions that you can use to help you and your children move to returning to the school environment with less resistance.

  1. They may be resistant and be very stoic in this resistance – acknowledge that, as validating the way your children feel takes away the power of the fear factor they may be experiencing.

  2. Help them by not arranging after school activities, especially for the first few weeks. If you already have after school activities scheduled, then consider pausing them for a while.

  3. Have snacks readily prepared, some children may have become accustomed to the snack bar being open all day long and won’t be used to waiting for prolonged periods of time between eating – stave off the ‘hangry’ quickly.

  4. Cook easy to prepare dinners that they like, even have a week of their favourites. This will help boost their happy hormones and lessen any angst they may be feeling.

  5. Consider preparing food in advance so that you can spend more time with them when they do get home, if they’ve been used to having more of your attention during recent weeks, they may need this additional quality time with you to process the day’s events.

  6. Have blankets, snuggles or comforters available, empathise with them if they need down-time from being at school.

  7. Sympathise with their moaning or if they express that they feel hard done by, it won’t last long as they will quickly get back into the old routine of school as it becomes yet another new norm’ for them.

  8. Look after yourself, we are all in this together, as much as children need to express their discontent, so do adults, but don’t stay there! Make sure you look after your mental wellbeing too – it is OK to put the TV on or allow extra time on devices or outside time so that you can catch your own breath.

And remember, if you’re having a tough time of it, it will pass. Reach out, call a friend, talk it through, seek support, journal your worries as it often helps to get your thoughts out of your head.