happy children at a laptop

School holidays are in full swing right now yaaay!  Your children will be having a blast and hopefully where you are your lockdown restrictions are underway allowing your children to get some much-needed outdoor time. 

I remember all to well the freedom of those summer holidays but always in the back of my mind was the anxiety of going to school again. I’m a father now and I need to tackle those same anxieties with my own children.

There are many reasons why your children won’t want to go to school, most prevalent might be the COVID-19 situation at your local school, or it may be something that your child feels personally about such as being poor at sports or teasing due to their appearance.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and dispel those fears for you, I wish I could say here’s a list of things to do and everything will be fine. What I can do though is offer you some tips on making your child as re-assured as possible.

3 Tips to Help with Children’s Anxiety Going Back to School

1. Listen to your Child

This is probably the first and, in my opinion, the most important step.  Too often it’s easy to put the foot down and overrule your child usually followed with a “because I said so”. This will not do anything to re-assure your child so take some time and talk to them as an equal, sit down with them and play with them. Try something like painting and then talking naturally with your child, your child will be more relaxed if the chat is informal then listen for anything that might point to a problem.

2. Agree with your Child

If you’ve identified a problem that is causing your child anxiety about school acknowledge it by empathizing. If your child sees that you understand why they feel that way they will have confidence in you as a someone that can solve the problem. Try not to laugh off the problem as “just being silly”.

3. Build coping strategies

This one is a bit harder to pin down as every child and situation is different however, the goal here should be to put your child at eases by coming up with a plan together. For example if your child is concerned about COVID-19 you could re-iterate where to wash hands, how often to wash your hands and re-assure them that everyone is washing their hands. Another example, if your child is worried about where to go, sit down and explain what happens at certain times of the day and walk through the process with them, the goal is to give your child a structure they can try and follow.

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