As your child has been home for a long while, naturally, they may be feeling anxious about going back to school. Encourage an open and honest conversation and listen to their worries.
Talk to your child – Ask how they are feeling about going back to school. Are worried or feel scared about anything? Are they excited about seeing their friends? No matter how your child feels, let them know that it is completely normal to feel a mixture of emotions and that everyone will be in the same boat.
Provide your child with information about their new routine – This will help them to prepare for any changes that have been made to the school day, the layout of their classroom, playtimes etc
Reassure your child – During the lockdown we have been told to stay at home and remain socially distant from others. 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.
Don’t put pressure on yourself – The transition back into school is likely to take some time. Lots of children will experience ups and downs. Try your best to support, reassure and comfort them, without putting pressure on the child or yourself
Plan ahead – As well as reflecting on what has happened during the past few weeks, it is important to help children develop hope and a sense of excitement for the future. At a time like this, it can be hard to feel positive, but identifying the things that they can look forward to will help them to realise that the current situation won’t last forever and their feelings will change.
Ask for help 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.