5 Tips To Transition Back to School Post-Pandemic
- Apr 13, 2022
As the world slowly reopens after the pandemic, change is once again at our doorsteps. And according to CNN, it doesn’t seem like our children are too happy about it.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the education industry underwent a radical transformation. Our children found themselves getting accustomed to virtual interactions, school-work done at home, and being around older people more than peer groups. For children born during the pandemic, post-pandemic schooling meant they came in contact with people of their age, or even the outside world, for the first time. Naturally, this transition isn’t going to be easy for them. So, as parents, what can we do to help them through this predicament? Fret not, this article has all the answers you need. Here are five tips that can help make your child’s foray into the physical classroom a tad bit easier.
#Tip 1: Act it Out
Children who have been with their family or caregivers throughout the pandemic are used to having a protective figure around at all times. But on the first day of school, these familiar faces will be replaced by a sea of strangers. No doubt, this unexpected separation may cause anxiety in your child. One way to prevent this is to address your childrens’ fears and alleviate them.
Begin by acting out what they’ll typically be doing on the first day of school - say your goodbyes in the morning and leave your children with a few books and toys to play with. You’ve got to stay away from them the whole day (you can pack a lunch box and place it in their school bag, so that their food is taken care of).
Pro tip: Do not waver, and do not come back before the designated time.
Another method is to draw the day out with your children, especially the part where you come back to pick them up. This will show them the separation is only temporary.
According to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, children can pick up on parents’ anxiety and become anxious themselves, as a result. This is why you need to act tough for your children, even if you’re feeling a little on edge yourself.
#Tip 2: Who is Who
Familiarity can really help foster positive associations. Having a Zoom tour of the classrooms and virtually meeting their teachers can help your children familarise themselves with this new development, thus making them feel more comfortable about the whole situation. Alternatively, you can also organise play dates with their classmates.
#Tip 3: Check-In
Once the big day at school is done and dusted, it would be a great idea to check in with your children at night. As every child has a different communication style, you can try different methods to help them open up about their feelings. If they don’t want to talk to you about it, you can ask them to draw or enact it, which might be easier for them to do. No matter what, always make sure these sessions are done in a calm and receiving environment. You can further encourage your children to open up by doing something they enjoy afterwards to signal that they did great in sharing how their day went.
#Tip 4: A Few Steps Back
Now here’s a tip that is focused on you, not your child: Take a few steps back. During the pandemic, everyone was stuck at home, which means you got plenty of time to bondi with your children. You probably had a fair idea of everything your child was up to. Once they start going to daycare or school, things are going to change. As a parent, this may take an emotional toll on you, which is why it is important to take some time off and resolve these issues within yourself.
Getting to know and building trust with your child’s teachers and other parents can help soothe your worries, so try to connect with them through social media or go up and strike a conversation when you see them around town. Your child will inadvertently pick up on your confidence and this will help them also feel more positive about their new environment.
#Tip 5: No Big Deal
Through this big change, remember that some stability is always needed. Welcome your new friend: Routine! Remember to continue doing at least one pandemic routine with your child. If you used to catch their favourite show or go somewhere they liked, be sure to continue doing it. This will help them fall back into something familiar, despite the changes.
Schools are slowly getting back in business, and this unexpected change may be met with some resistance from your children. With a little patience, you can guide and support them through the whole process. We wish you the very best in introducing your children back into their regular school routines - with care, calm and these five helpful tips!
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