Is your child returning to school on Monday?
If so, are you celebrating or feeling a little bit of trepidation about how they will manage the transition back. Maybe a combination of the two?
There will undoubtedly be a whole range of reactions and emotions to this change. I imagine that for many parents, who have slogged their way through home schooling, there will be a welcome sense of relief that they can take their foot off the “parent tries to be teacher” pedal. No doubt many children will be looking forward to returning to school to see their friends and get back to a more structured routine. Perhaps though, your child is feeling some sense of anxiety about going back after such a long break.
Transitions can be tricky; they bring uncertainty and a sense of not knowing how things will be. For a lot of autistic children, the return to school after so long away will feel daunting.
If you are parenting a child like this what can you do to help them overcome their worries?
Here’s a couple of ways that can help.
Knowledge is Power
Knowing about the new school rules and what will happen once they are back at school can be useful information to share with your child. Your child may find it helpful to see this routine visually using a visual timetable. Visual timetables enable children to understand what they are doing and when over a period of time. They give structure to the day and can reduce anxiety levels as things are clearly laid out for children to see. Here’s a link to a website which helps you create visual time tables https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-c-045-editable-visual-timetable-cards
For secondary school children and college students they will be expected to take lateral flow covid tests in school and wear face masks most of the school day. It might help to show them some videos of people their age having lateral flow tests so that they get a better idea of what to expect. Here’s a video of a secondary school pupil doing a lateral flow test in school https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-3_2Jsx5G4
Own Your Feelings
Recognise and acknowledge your own feelings about their return to school.
If you are feeling anxious, managing your own anxiety and modelling how you are doing this to your child can be a huge help to them. Your children learn what you do, not what you say.
So, how can you show them how to manage anxiety?
What helps you to get back to a state of calm?
What helps your child return to a state of calm?
Here’s a few common things that work for many people but everyone is different, what works for you and your child?
If you want to find more answers to these questions (and others) then why not take some time to book some coaching with Gold Mind Coaching. We can help you discover how you can parent on purpose.