We hope that your child/ren have returned to school happily and are feeling settled. Unfortunately, it has become clear that many children have been struggling with anxiety at the beginning of this first term.
Due to many children being off school for so many months, and with all the uncertainty around at the moment, this is a normal reaction. It may take some of the children a bit of time to adjust to being away from parents and being back in school full time.
As parents, we have our own anxieties and worries about the pandemic, which again is to be expected.
We would like to suggest a few things to help minimise any worries your child may be experiencing.
Firstly, try to shield your children from your own anxieties, and perhaps make sure they don’t see/hear the news too often, if at all. Try to discuss your own anxieties out of ear shot of your children. Children can be very sensitive to atmospheres, even if they don’t understand all the words.
If your child wants to express their anxieties, let them do this, but not all the time. Choose a quiet time of day when you can have a chat, then agree to not talk about them again until tomorrow. Worries can be ‘packed away in a box’, and brought out in a controlled way, so that you are managing them, and they are not controlling you and your family.
Make a ‘gratitude list’ with your child – think of all the good things you can be thankful for.
Practise positive reflection – at the end of the day and in the morning, turn negative conversations into positive ones, ‘tell me something good about today’, it might only be eating lunch or playing, but focus on this.
Teach your child some simple coping strategies –breathing techniques if panicking, counting to 10 slowly and looking around for things to focus on (look at that lovely autumn tree….)
Here are some useful websites:
Attached are some resources you can use at home too.
Remember being anxious is natural and everyone feels it to some degree, but we can learn to manage it.
Please do speak to us if you would like any further advice.
Mrs Stere, Inclusion Manager and Mrs Darby, Family Support Worker