Deciding whether your child/ward should go back to school during a health crisis like this is never an easy decision for parents and guardians to make. It is important that parents/guardians do what they feel is right, comfortable and safe for their entire family.
If you have decided that you would like to send your child/ward back to school, here are some tips on how you can support your child/ward to transition back to school life:
Have a conversation:
Talk to your child/ward about how they are feeling about going back to school and try not to make assumptions. Ask them if they are worried or feel scared about anything, but also if they are excited about or looking forward to something. No matter how your child/ward feels, let them know that it is completely normal to feel a mixture of emotions and that everyone will be in the same boat.
Provide adequate information:
Provide your child/ward with as much information about their new routine and school day as you can. This will help them to prepare for any changes that have been made to the timings of their day, the layout of their classroom, their peer groups and playtimes. For younger children, it can be really helpful for them to visualise these changes – so ask your child’s school if they can send any pictures to help make things feel more familiar.
Reassure your child/ward:
During the lockdown we have been told to stay at home, remain socially distant from others and wash our hands regularly. This means children may find it difficult to go back to school because it will be a huge change from what they have been asked to do during the pandemic. Talk with your child/ward about ways they can stay safe at school, such as washing their hands as often as possible and reassure them that the school are putting measures in place to keep them safe.
Re-establish a routine:
This is to help them ease into school life. During lockdown it is understandable that your family’s routine may have changed. Children are likely to have been waking up later or going to bed later. To help them get ready for school, try to gradually get them back into their usual morning and bedtime routines as they get closer to their return date.
Don’t put pressure on yourself. The transition back into school is likely to take some time. Lots of children will experience ups and downs. Try your best to support, reassure and comfort them, without putting pressure on yourself to make sure their homework is done or they settle into a new routine straightaway.
Seek support if you need it:
Transitioning back to school after being in lockdown is no easy task. You may find that your child/ward struggles to get back into school or experiences difficulties while they’re at school. If this is the case, reach out to your child/ward’s school as soon as you can so that you can make them aware of the challenges and work together to support your child/ward.
Releasing your child/ward at this point in time might be one of the hardest decisions you have to make but life has to go on one step at a time. Ensure the words and reassurance of the school match their actions. If possible, pay a visit yourself for a love simulation of how your kid/ward(s) will be cared for.
Ibiene wishes you and your family all the best.
What are your suggestions for taking care of our children at school during this pandemic? Please share with us in the comment section.