Is your child struggling with their return to school?

Now that all children in England and Wales have returned to school, it is very likely that your child has experienced or is still experiencing some anxiety around returning to school, leaving parents, carers and siblings after such an extended period at home and of course the risk of catching Coronavirus itself.

Simply returning to ‘a routine’ is difficult for all of us, when during lockdown our habits changed with late nights and late mornings and spending a lot of time watching TV and on media screens. Simply getting up earlier and staying awake all day could initially in itself be a real challenge.

Also, the start of a new academic year may also mean new faces for some – both pupils and staff, which in itself can cause anxiety if your child is used to knowing who everybody is. When I was a lecturer, I always remember feeling nervous and excited when returning to college and that was after a one-month summer break never mind 5 months!!

There is no easy solution, it just takes time to settle back into a new routine. It is crucial that your child understands that you appreciate their concerns and the best way to tackle this is simply to talk about it with them. Relay those concerns to your child’s teachers and key workers if you need to, so that they can act upon them, even building slots into timetables to allow for regular discussions where necessary. Make yourself available, find the right time to talk, ideally when they are relaxed and ready to talk, it’s probably not a good idea to force a discussion as this could have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.

Don’t forget those coping strategies that have worked well in the past – this might involve exercise, breathing techniques, or simply meeting up with friends where possible. Again, where you’re having success, share these tactics with the school so that they can make use of them too if needed.

Last of kind to yourself! Remember that this is likely to be a long period of adjustment where our lives gradually move towards some sort of normal. Nobody is expecting it to happen immediately, and children will need time and space to discuss the way they’re feeling. Remember that communication between parent and child, and parent and school is key.

At Highgate Hill House School we are here to help you and your child through the return to school, so please do not hesitate to contact us on 01288 341998.

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