Back to School: Tips for Parents

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Going to school is going to look a lot different for children and teachers. Infact in a post-lockdown world, schools will not look anything like they used to. There will be changes in place such as; social distancing, specific areas will be out of bounds, children may be taught my different teachers, one way systems, hand sanitising station, no contact sport, less after school and breakfast clubs, different start/finish times and many more changes. This can easily cause anxiety and stress for both children and parents. We want to try and ease these anxieties as much as possible. Here are some back to school tips to help you!

Get back into a sleeping routine

Making sure to have a sleep routine is one of the most important steps when it comes to getting ready to go back to school. I would have been a while since you would have had to get your child up early and ready for school. During lockdown, sleeping patterns would have become more flexible, bedtimes later in the evening and longer lay ins in the morning, for both you and your children. It is a struggle for us all to get back into a sleep routine but to motivate you to do so; here are some of the benefits of sleep:

  • It enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day
  • Helps to prevent excess weight gain, heart disease and increased illness duration
  • Reduces stress and improve your mood
  • Helps you to think more clearly and enables you to do better at work and school

Get familiar with the new rules and routines.

After coming to terms with the new rules and routines yourself, it is important to explain these to your child/children so they understand too as schools will not look and be how they used to.  It is important that children know and understand that they need to be safe around other people. But make sure to reassure them that everything is okay and safe and that they do not need to worry. Whilst a lot of things have changed, it is also reassuring that some things have not changed. Such as; they will be dropped off on the same playground, they will see the same adults around school, they will be wearing the same uniform and it will be the same food at lunchtime. Telling them these things will reassure them.

Talk to your children about how they are feel

Your children will more than likely feel anxious about going back to school and about the new changes. It is extremely important to ask how they are feeling before and after school and if they would like to talk about anything or ask any questions. Reassurance is also key, let your children know that is is okay to feel this way. Have a conversation with your child, but make sure not to plant any more concerns. Making your child see the positive in situations is a good idea, an example being “ I know you aren’t looking forward to going back to school but at least when you get back we can do lots of things together”.

Be kind

During this strange and unusual time, it is important to be kind yourself and to practice self-care. This includes you and your child/children. There are many ways you can practice self-care such as

  • Exercise
  • Read
  • Colour
  • Go for walks
  • Alone time
  • Start a new hobby
  • Do something you enjoy

And the majority of these can you do with your child, so you can enjoy time together.

I hope you find these tips helpful and reassuring. Best of luck going back to school.

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Sources used to write this post:

https://beaconschoolsupport.co.uk/newsletters/parents-how-to-help-your-child-return-to-school-successfully

https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/everyday-healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep

https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/supporting-a-child-returning-to-school-after-lockdown/

https://youngminds.org.uk/starting-a-conversation-with-your-child/