I hope you received an email yesterday containing a letter for your children to read including web links and also attachments containing information I sent out in the last week of term.
In the run-up to returning next week, please make time for little conversations about how your children are feeling about going back to school. Be careful how you do this - the aim is to see if they do have concerns, not to plant new ones!
If your child does have worries, acknowledge their concerns first before offering reassurance.
And a good way of turning a negative into a positive is using the phrase, "At least..."
And don't be surprised if children want to talk about the same issue a number of times. Kids often need to (repeatedly!) revisit an idea with an adult to get reassurance nothing has changed.
Please convey calm…..
It's natural for us parents/carers to have some level of worry about returning our child to school. But however you feel on the inside, it's really important to convey calm to your child.
Kids pick up on lots of little clues about how we as their parents are feeling and they use this information to inform how they should be feeling. If we look worried, they pick up on this and start worrying too!
So, if you do have concerns, it time to be an actor. However you feel on the inside, aim to convey calm on the outside.
To do this, we need to think about:
Routines for sleep
In most families, routines around kids' sleep have become more... flexible! Bedtimes have drifted until later in the evening... and our kids are getting up later in the morning as a result. To move immediately from these routines to 'normal running' and getting into school for your staggered start could be jarring.
So start moving your child's bedtime back towards normality now. Do this gradually, over the weekend as well as all of next week before they get back to school on Thursday. If you have managed this already – a house point for you!!
Because if we leave it to Tuesday, it's likely our kids won't have time to adjust, and won't be able to get to sleep at the earlier time.
And then your child won't only have to cope with going back to school on the first day back - they'll be managing exhaustion too.
Be kind to yourself
Everyone has been through an emotional rollercoaster over the last few months - that includes you and your child/ren. And if you've felt overwhelmed or worried about sending your child back to school, that's okay. It's entirely normal.
So be kind to yourself.
Make sure you:
All of these activities will help make sure you're in an emotionally strong place - so you can support your child with their emotions too.
Lockdown was a massive change for all of us - including our children. And now they're going back to school, we need to help them prepare for another big change.
Take care everyone,