Author: Jinal Trivedi -Customer Success Head.
This topic contains
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a period of enormous change and uncertainty. From the youngest to the oldest. All have experienced the sudden and unexpected closure of schools, offices with little opportunity to say goodbye to friends, teachers, and colleagues. The pandemic has demanded to adopt a new way of life very quickly. Returning to school will also be a period of change and uncertainty for children
“A settling back in” period and time for re-connection will be needed. It may take time for children to get back into a routine and to adjust to life back at school. Families will need to find their ‘new normal’.
Returning to School Post Lockdown
The COVID-19 pandemic brought sudden changes to all our lives. Whilst many adults found themselves working from home or perhaps lost their jobs, meanwhile many schools were closed and children found themselves isolated at home, unable to see friends and loved ones. Such a radical change to routine has been very unsettling for many children. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease and some schools re-open, supporting children through the coming weeks and months will be vital to their long-term well-being.Understanding your child's perspective is equally necessary
1. Talk to your child :
Change is often tough. However, preparing for a change you know is coming can make dealing with it far easier. Talk to your child about what they should expect. Most importantly you should take time to explain why things will be a certain way. Helping your child to understand the reasons for the change can play a huge role in breaking down their emotional barriers and help them cope more effectively. Remove as many potential surprises as you can and your children will feel far more reassured about returning to school. As the nature of school re-openings will vary from place to place, you should receive a wealth of information from the school and local authorities to assist you with this.
2. Get Back to a Routine:
Many of us may have let our child adopt a looser routine during the lockdown. Delay in bedtime, eating patterns may have changed. The urgency to be dressed on time – or at all – may have fallen by the wayside. These could be considered as we haven't been living in a normal routine. It is certainly okay for a more relaxed approach, therefore it is essential that you re-adjust, gradually. If you are certain of the school re-opening, you can start adjusting bedtimes and reacquaint them with being out of bed and dressed earlier in the morning. Involve your children in the preparation; get them to help with washing their uniform or ensuring their school bag is ready. Do not forget to make few changes to your routine too.
3. Listen to your child:
It is important that you make sure you listen to your child’s concerns to ensure that you're available to listen should they have queries and be open to hearing their views without offering judgment. Like adults, children will often just need to get something off their chest. Others
will need reassurance more than guidance. If you have more than one child, each may experience different feelings about going back to school so listen to them on a one-on-one basis. This will prevent them from picking up anxieties from each other or potentially making the situation more difficult.
4. Encourage your child to talk:
It can be tough for children to talk about their experiences and emotions. Often the reason for this is not that a child has nothing to say, but that no-one has asked them the right question. Ask your child “What are you looking forward to about going back to school?” or “Which friends and teachers are you excited to see?” Be sure that you follow this practice on a daily basis. Avoid asking closed questions that they can simply respond to with a yes or no.
5. Keep Children Motivated:
When your child returns back from school, plan a few fun and rewarding activities to help keep them keep motivated. These can form part of your new routine, such as allowing them to play video games or eat their favorite snack when they get home from school. With this in mind, try to maintain the family activities that you may have set up during lockdown. If you play a board game together for an hour each evening or take a walk outside, keep doing it. The end of lockdown doesn’t have to end new activities and return to all your old habits, so be sure to maintain some of the positive changes you may have introduced to your life!
Returning to school post lockdown will be a big step for most children and it may be a stressful time for both you and them. It’s important to recognize that it will take time to adjust as we all discover what our ‘new normal’ looks like. But by taking the time to plan ahead, maintaining some consistencies in their routine, and keeping an open dialogue, we can help ease the transition for all of us.