Sending kids back to school following the holidays can be nerve-wracking, with everything from new classes and schoolwork to new friends to consider. And that's before taking into account the coronavirus pandemic!
So how can parents ease their children's back to school anxiety? Annette Du Bois, Confidence, Emotions and Psychological Expert and Co-Founder of CHAMPS Academy, shares three top tips parents need to know…
WATCH: How to ease back to school anxieties
Even those who had a solid routine before COVID-19 hit will be struggling to get back into the flow of things. Annette noted that with such a long time since that structure was in place, it can cause what she described as "shock syndrome."
Speaking of the importance of a bedtime routine, she said: "Going to bed half an hour earlier or swapping the iPad device or TV for reading a book to create that better sleep process and get that good quality sleep." Meanwhile, choosing healthier foods, especially protein, can also help.
To get used to doing homework again, Annette suggested: "Perhaps at 4-4:30 pm, your child could do a bit of reading or learning to get them conditioned into doing homework after the school day."
We've all used the phrase: 'Don't worry' at some point in our lives, but well-meaning sentiments such as this can encourage negative thinking for children. She explained: "Your mind has to think about that thing before not thinking about it." Ultimately, kids then associate school with anxiety.
Bedtime routines, positive communication and after school activities can help calm anxiety
Instead, she suggested using positive or practical words such as: "Do your best today", "give it a go", and "you can do this." A handy tip not just for kids!
This should be an easy one! "After the school day, maybe a few times a week, do something fun," Annette recommended. Whether it's a trip to the park or a playdate with friends, giving children something to look forward to after school has ended will help them achieve a more positive outlook.