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Preparing your child to return to school

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been an unprecedented situation in modern times. We don’t yet know the full impact this has had on the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people.

It has been challenging for us all in different ways and for some it has been traumatic. Sadly, some of our children haven’t stepped inside an educational establishment for almost 5 months.  And as we prepare to get our children ready for the new academic year, the usual feelings of nervousness, anxiety and excitement have been extremely amplified.

Here are some tips and resources for parents from the Mental Health Foundation to ease the transition back to school:

Start talking

Your child might have worries about returning to school. You can explore these and help them think of ways to manage them using our Time for Us pack or the resources on  the Family Links website.

Sleep routine

Help your child return to their normal sleep routine in the weeks before school starts again. Our “How to…” guide on improving sleep could be a good place to start.

Talk about school

Start to talk through the daily routine that they were once so familiar with. It doesn’t have to start as a conversation about worries, but these might arise as you talk.

Coping strategies

Model coping strategies you use when feeling stressed such as reconnecting with friends before returning, doing regular exercise or using breathing techniques. If it applies, you could share your own worries and feelings about returning to work and ways you are managing these feelings.

Make yourself available as much as possible

Children may want to come and “debrief” but maybe not when you expect. Create space for talking in different ways, such as going on a walk together or baking together – there may be less pressure in these circumstances than when sitting face-to-face.

Look at the positives

As schools reopen, other things will too. It might be helpful to talk about things the child is looking forward to, like their favourite shop reopening, seeing friends in the park or having an ice-cream from their favourite cafe.

Getting back to their favourite club or activity would also give them something to look forward to. A familiar environment or something that they love doing will increase their confidence and self esteem.

Jigsaw Performing Arts Schools are delighted to be back doing what they do best.  Dance ,Drama and Singing classes for children aged 3 – 18 years.  Performing Arts is a great way to boost confidence and self esteem and an enormous amount of fun.  Jigsaw offer a two week trial to all new students who might like to give it a go.  Visit our website to find your nearest location and find more information about our classes