Help! My Child Is Anxious About The Return To School

Senior Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Shreena Ghelani, on how to handle the return to school

Thousands of schools have reopened their doors to welcome pupils from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as per the Government’s guidelines.

Some children – and indeed, many parents – felt nervous about school resuming, especially given the pushback from multiple councils.

Attendance rates were lower than predicted, with some institutions only receiving 40% attendance of the pupils they were expecting.

Here, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Shreena Ghelani, helps families struggling with the return to school

Don’t rush to get back to normal too quickly 

When school restarts in your area, you may find that children are more tired than usual by the extra demands and sensory stimulation placed on them.

Ease them back in to their routine gently and allow enough space and time in a new schedule for any hiccups so that you’re not having to manage too many demands. When the time comes, you’ll find you’ll feel less stressed if you know there will be bumps in the road.

Speak to your children about the impact of Coronavirus 

Let children know that it is likely that other families may have been impacted by the virus, whether that’s keyworking parents working hard, or family bereavements.

Encourage your child to be patient and kind to other children. Let you child know what they might still be expected to do – not hug friends, wash their hands more often, or not share toys.

Managing worry and anxiety 

If you know your child might struggle with going back to school, try developing a mental toolbox of things they can do when they are worried at school.

This might include a song to sing to themselves, visualising a calm place, practising breathing techniques and identifying safe staff they can tell if they begin to feel nervous during the day.

What if my child is still stuck at home? 

If you’re not satisfied with the remote learning programme offered by your school, Bertie Hubbard, CEO and Co-founder of MyTutor, suggests using EdTech until schools re-open to full capacity.

“Online tutoring in particular can help alleviate the pressure felt by students and their families, as they can continue their schooling with one-to-one support all without leaving the house,” he says.

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“Those who provide remote, on-demand services, such as MyTutor, can be relied on to support a large number of people as required.”

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