With many children heading back to school later this week, I felt information about supporting this would be helpful for some families. Here are four tips to support your child:
1. Prepare your child for the day
Including schedule, recess, lunch time, snacks, who their teacher is and eventually speaking to what their teacher is like and how they support them, friends in their class. Helping children feel prepared gives them a better sense of control which typically eases feelings of anxiety and being nervous.
2. Allow for all feelings
Giving your child the space to share their feelings about the day. Acknowledging and validating your child(ren)'s feelings can go a long way.
3. Providing downtime
Having set time after school for your child(ren) to unwind and self-regulate after a day of taking in so much information through the various senses can have impacts on the rest of the day and the following one. Activities may include outside time, playing with friends, various forms of art including dance and drawing, sand play, and water play.
4. Look forward to things
This can include what they are looking forward to this weekend, or even the next day at school. Having something enjoyable to hold onto helps to get through more difficult times. When they are able to identify what they look forward to at school, you can help them build on their capacity to be in the moment mindfully which can allow opportunities to refuel and manage more challenging parts of the day.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist and Art Therapist. And I have been writing this blog since May 2021 about various topics including parenting, supporting adult and child mental health, and holistic approaches. The intention of this blog is to provide resources and information to others, however it is not intended to take the place of therapy. If you have any questions about anything written please reach out to me.