How are your kids going?
Mine have now settled back into school but I know one was very nervous about going back. She was concerned about whether she’d have the same friends, how she’d social distance and what she’d do without full access to the fridge all day!
With so many kids in the East returning back to school next week, I’m sure many of them will be having the same thoughts, while others will be running for the classrooms.
A good thing to bear in mind is our kids have been through a lot and there’s still a lot of uncertainty. It might be jarring because they’ve become settled into a new routine and they’ve been disconnected from their friends for such a long time. We can help our children by encouraging them to express how they feel about going back to school and validating their concerns.
4 tips to help our kids
Encourage them to Express Concerns
Simple questions that are open ended can be a powerful way to connect with your child.
‘Do you have any concerns about going back to school?’
‘What are you most worried about with returning to school?’
‘What are you most looking forward to?’
Listen and validate
Just listen without trying to fix. Hear their concerns and then let them know it’s a big thing to go back to school and it’s OK if they feel a bit worried.
Let them know a lot of kids will be feeling a bit nervous because they’ve been away for long. Let them know it might be a bit hard at first but it’s going to be OK, the teachers will be there to help.
It’s been a long haul for everyone, and our kids have done pretty well to adjust to such extreme circumstances. A great way to end the home schooling is to thank them for adjusting to all the change and let them know how proud you are of them for coping with change the way they did.
Anxiety and courage always exist together.
If our kids are feeling anxious, I think we can help them let them know that anxiety means that they’re doing something brave. If they feel anxious, it’s because their brain thinks there’s something to worry about. It responds the same if they’re about to new friends for the first time. An anxious brain is a brave brain, an anxious body is a brave body, and an anxious person is always a brave person.
We are pretty awesome!
As for us parents, I think most of us can agree that we did an awesome job. It’s not often we’re thrown into that role of teacher, parent and for some of us, provider. We can be very proud of ourselves. Make sure you reward yourself in some way for getting through.