In one of my tutoring sessions, I asked my student if he is looking forward to going back to school.
His response, “ I never thought I would ever get tired of playing video games in my room. It’s really boring now and I am looking forward to going back!”
Although it may be difficult to get your child out of bed and out the door to get to school on time, they need routine; it is what gives them structure and they will feel more in control of their own lives. Given our present circumstances and the lack of a “normal school day”, getting back to school is more important than ever.
As a parent, it’s perfectly understandable that you are anxious. We are not in the clear and this virus has not just vanished, never to return. It is your job to be able to see the bigger picture and make sense of that anxiety. It is your job as a parent to prepare your child to keep themselves safe: washing their hands, wearing a mask, keeping a distance and most importantly, not to panic if they forget the odd Covid staying safe rule. It takes time to learn a new way of living!
Children have been home for a while and some will be ready and eager to go to school while others will have become attached. To ease the return back to school, perhaps create a plan which involves you and your child walking to school, talking about what the day may hold and reassuring your child that you will be at the school gates at the end of the school day for the walk back home, which will allow your child to share, if they wish, his/her day.
While your child has been away from school, friendship groups formed may be effected. Your child may find that very difficult to accept. It is your job to help your child understand that new friendships can be formed, should be formed and how they can be even better than the ones before. If Covid has taught us anything , it is to appreciate what we have and what is possible.
Perhaps as a parent, you are worried about the gaps in your child’s learning. Encourage learning by taking an active part in their journey to fill the gaps that have been created during lockdown. Reassure your child that he/she will be able to catch up by being enthusiastic about their leaning journey. There are some children who will dive in and some who will be a bit more reluctant. Be patient and don’t put academic pressure, their mental wellbeing is of more importance.
It has been a difficult and for some a sad time. As a parent , just listen to your child and empathise with all the emotions they may or may not be able to express. Acknowledge that the uncertainty that continues is tough for them whilst reminding them to give thanks that they will come out of this stronger.