Tips for helping children who are worried about coming back to school
Prepare in advance
One step at a time
Even when school re starts, you may find that children are more tired than usual by the extra demands and sensory stimulation placed on them. Ease them back in to their routine gently and wait to start other activities (clubs and activities) in a few weeks’ time.
Managing worry and anxiety
If you know your child might struggle with going back to school, try developing a toolbox of things they can do when they are worried at school. This might include a song to sing to themselves, visualising a calm place, some affirmation cards, practicing a breathing techniques and identifying safe staff they can tell. You can make this box together which will help them feel calmer about coming back.
Speak to your children about the impact of Coronavirus
Let children know that it is likely that other families have been impacted by the virus (whether that’s key worker parents working hard, or family bereavements). Encourage your child to be patient with and kind to other children. Talk to them about what they might still be expected to do – not hug friends, wash their hands often, not share food or toys etc.
For any children with special educational needs, they might need adaptations made for them. This might include visiting the school while it’s empty to familiarise them with the space, a video call with their teacher or a more phased return than other pupils – whatever’s best for them.
This year we introduced the mindful parent’s workshop where we covered the following topics:
· Routine and sibling squabbles
· Emotions and calming down techniques
· Behaviour and Discipline
· Anxiety and confidence building
· E - Safety and social media
· Eating habits
· Cooking sessions
The workshop was very successful with parents continuing to support each other and use strategies they had learnt in the course.
We will be running this again in the new academic year