Tips for parents preparing their children to return to school
In a few days from now, children will be returning to school after the coronavirus lockdown. It is hard to gauge the full impact that the situation is having on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Pupils’ experiences of the lockdown period will have been very varied. For some, it will mostly have been a safe and enjoyable time. For others, it will have been challenging or traumatic.
As parents and guardians, how do you prepare your child to prepare for returning to school after the lockdown?
Here is a guide and it includes practical advice:
Help your child return to their normal sleep routine in the weeks before school starts again.
Talk about school
Start to talk through the daily routine that they were once so familiar with. It doesn’t have to start as a conversation about worries, but these might arise as you talk.
Model coping strategies you use when feeling stressed such as reconnecting with friends before returning, doing regular exercise or using breathing techniques. If it applies, you could share your own worries and feelings about returning to work and the ways you are managing these feelings.
Make yourself available as much as possible
Children may want to come and “debrief” but maybe not when you expect. Create space for talking in different ways, such as going on a walk together or baking together – there may be less pressure in these circumstances than when sitting face-to-face.
Look at the positives
As schools reopen, other things will too. It might be helpful to talk about things the child is looking forward to, like their favourite shop reopening, seeing friends in the park or getting ice cream from their favourite café.
Culled from www.mentalhealth.org.uk