How To Return To A Back-To-School Routine
Now that back-to-school time is really here, some kids are going to be setting foot into classrooms for the first time in over a year, a scary and daunting thought for children and parents.
Here are some tips to help making the transition a smooth and enjoyable one:
Preparation is key!....
Start getting back on a schedule, which might be hard if back-to-school is still a few weeks away, but try to start to get on some sort of routine that will mimic the school schedule. Think about bedtimes and wake uptimes, limit screen time and ensure there is some routine for meal times etc.
This will ensure our children are prepared for the change in routine when back to school in September, their bodies will need time to adjust.
All of the things that provide structure and organization to the day will be helpful.
Talk & Listen to each other…..
As you’re preparing and getting back on schedule, start having those conversations about going back to school. Listen to what they’re worried about. Is it keeping up with the work? Re-engaging with friends and worries about whether they will fit in or be accepted?
Are they worrying about what it will be like to be back in school all day and not with their parents anymore? Anxiety will probably sound a lot like what-ifs.
It’s not only adults that have had a tough year, children have suffered to and it’s really important for us parents to have a positive outlook on the future for our child’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Talk to your child about how they are feeling about going back to school and try not to make assumptions.
During the lockdown we have been told to stay at home, remain socially distant from others and wash our hands regularly. This means children may find it difficult to go back to school because it will be a huge change from what they have been asked to do during the pandemic. Talk with your child about ways they can stay safe at school, such as washing their hands before and after eating, and reassure them that the school are putting measures in place to keep them safe.
Seek support if you need it….
Transitioning back to school after being in lockdown is no easy task. You may find that your child struggles to get back into school or experiences difficulties while they’re at school. If this is the case, reach out to your child’s school as soon as you can so that you can make them aware of the challenges and work together to support your child. If you are concerned about your child’s mental health and you think they need professional support, speak to the school and your GP about the best next step.