This is certainly a time of mixed emotions. Whether you’re counting down the days, feeling uneasy about the week to come – or perhaps a bit of both – here are our suggestions to make the return to school a positive experience for everyone.
A problem shared…
You’re probably not the only one feeling anxious and excited at the same time – but it’s best not to make assumptions. Make time to talk to you child, listen to their concerns and reassure them about what’s to come. Asking open questions is a good way to encourage children to open up.
If you haven’t already, use the weekend to move gently back to a school-day routine. That means early nights, early wake-ups and structured mealtimes. For younger children, it may even help to recreate the school day at home – or look through the school’s website to reacquaint them with where they will be going.
There’s going to be an element of uncertainty about what’s in store – particularly for older children who may need to have COVID-19 tests or wear masks. Be honest; it’s ok that you don’t have all the answers. Don’t be afraid to contact the school directly if you need further information or support – and similarly, do tell your child’s teacher if there are any lingering concerns or issues at home they should know about.
Focus on the positives
As we’ve looked at this month, the return to school means a return to friends, shared learning, greater support and extra-curricular activities. Try not to focus too much on catching up at this stage; there’s plenty of time to develop a sustainable and nurturing strategy for that once your child has settled back in.
Embrace family time
And finally, try to make Sunday a screen-free, family day. While options are limited, spending time together outside will help allay anxieties and boost the chances of a good night’s sleep.
For more top tips on tackling pre-school nerves, do read this month’s Expert Insight, from children’s psychologist, Beccie Dixey. And always feel free to get in touch with the Figtree team if there’s anything we can do to help.