Wow what a ride we have had over the last 6 months, in March when we entered lockdown the possibility that the children would not go back to school for 6 months seemed was unfathomable and yet here we are!
So how can we help our children (and us) get back in the swing of things and get used to the new normal after an extraordinary 6 months?
These simple tips take very little practice but can make a worried child feel much more prepared and ready for the new school term.
Tip No 1 – Keep communication open
Children are extraordinarily resilient when they have confidence in the adults around them. If you have an anxious child the temptation is to offer reassurance, however this can reinforce the anxiety. Anxiety needs guidance and clear leadership it is important to show confidence and allow them to express any concerns they have.
It is good to listen to their concerns and not to just dismiss them by saying something like “oh you will be fine”. Listen carefully and help them to understand that they are not alone and it is normal to feel some anxiety when our circumstances change and let them know that you are always there for them. Helping them with specific worries by finding out and explaining what the plan is will also help you alleviate your child’s worries.
Tip No 2 - Get your beauty sleep
Get a good night’s sleep! We all know what we feel like when we have not had a good night’s sleep! When we sleep all sorts of things take place to restore our body but of equal importance is sleep allows time for our mind to restore itself, helping us learn, be creative and have fun.
It can take up to a week to get back in a good sleep pattern, so start tonight so that your children don’t feel super tired as they rise for school.
Tip no 3 – What’s been good?
Focus on the positives!
I know I always used to ask my kids how was your day and the usual replies would come back “boring” “rubbish” or I would say what did you do? “Nothing” was generally the reply… however I now ask them, “What was good about your day?”
You will notice they go to say the same thing and then have to stop and think about what has been good. This slight change of language encourages our brain to notice the positive things and steer clear of the negative thoughts which often leads to more worry and anxiety.
Tip no 4 – what are they eating?
Eating well and staying hydrated are key to our physical and mental health. How we eat affects how we feel and how we feel affects how we think and how we think affects how we behave and how well we cope.
Good nutrition is one of the key steps to keeping our children’s minds and body in peak condition and on the right track.
Tip 5 – Help your child be organised
Sorting uniform and PE kits and bags is really useful for any nervous child, schools have worked really hard to ensure they are complying with all the rules and most schools are doing a really good job of communicating with parents, so explaining to your children and by saying this is how your school will look… this is the entrance you will use .... will really help them understand what changes will be in place when they return to school.
Reuniting your children with their peers is invaluable and this is where you will see children’s natural resilience kick in. They will feel valued, have a sense of purpose and wanting to get out there and this in fact works for all ages! Having positive interaction releases our good happy hormones, particularly Serotonin which not only makes us feel more happy and positive but also helps us cope.
If you or your children are struggling with our changing world and the new normal, please feel free to book a free initial consultation with me to see how I can help.
Find me on Facebook (ebeehypnotherapy) or call me on 07305509846