Feeling anxious about schools reopening? You are not alone

September is nearly here, which means that we need to think about our children returning to school. Of course, we are going to feel some excitement, after all, we have been carers, parents, friends and educators for our children for months now, which has been tiring. However, just because we feel positive about our children going back to school. That doesn’t mean that we don’t feel anxiety too.

If you are feeling worried about the idea your child going back to school, then you might want to read on, as we can promise you that you are not alone.

How are our children going to be safe?

As parents our main concern for our children is that they are healthy and that they are safe. When we are handing them over to a teacher, we are naturally going to be concerned about their safety. This is especially true when we are in the midst of a global pandemic and we have been their sole carers for the past few months.

This means that a common question that seems to come up from parents is how are our children going to be safe? This is hard to answer and will need to come from the school themselves. However, we can reassure you that no matter the school, the safety of the children that go there is the most important consideration.

Most schools will have thought long and hard about what processes need to be place to keep kids safe and many risk assessments will have been completed around this. The main focal point will be to ensure that children spend time within their bubbles and that their physical interactions are kept to a minimum.

Not only this, but children in general will be taught the importance of washing their hands and how this can keep the virus at bay.

What about their social and emotional well-being?

Aside from their actual health and safety when they are at school, another concern for parents is that their child’s social and emotional well-being is being taken care of. The school will offer children plenty of chances to discuss the way that they feel and be able to make sense of the strange new world around them.

There will be a lot of work around how to cope with anxiety and also the teachers will be on hand to alleviate any concerns that the children may have. Ensuring that they are tailoring their responses and the information to the right level for children.

Not only this, but children will also need to be reminded about how they can interact with one another. Many children are not likely to have spent time with friends, or anyone outside of their immediate family network during lockdown. Which means that they will be somewhat rusty on the types of behaviour that is expected of them.

The important thing to remember is that we are all learning about what school will be like post Covid, which means that there are no right or wrong answers. Not only this, but children are actually much stronger emotionally then we realise and are resilient too.

Children focused on the here and now

We may be worried about the future and the present, but children are much more focused on the here and now.

As a parent you need to ensure that you don’t project any of your worries about what is going to happen onto your child. Of course, you should be open and honest about your discussions and you should acknowledge with your child that it is okay to feel frightened. However, they should feel calm and happy with what is happening.

The thing to remember about the return to school is that we don’t know what will happen. Uncertainty is not much fun, but the new normal, won’t become normal until we are used to it. This means that it is going to take time.

Try to stay positive and calm about what is going to happen and then, before you know it you will forget all about how you felt before the return to school. The new normal will really have taken a hold and those concerns and doubts will have been a distant memory.

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