Summer holidays are a time to forget all about school. However, a long six week break from can also result in an overwhelming sense of anxiety when it is time to return. There are many possible contributing factors to a child’s anxiety. Meeting new people in their classes, facing new challenges, upcoming exams, etc. As parents, we sometimes feel helpless, but there are ways we can help to make the transition back to school easier for children. The key is to ensure school and friends do not disappear into oblivion for six whole weeks.
However, organising playdates with other children from school presents a different set of challenges as there is no easy way to manage this communication. This is particularly important as children move schools, and getting to know other parents at school in a new year group would normally take part once children are back at school.
Arrange – One way to overcome this is to see if schools are willing to share parent information (with consent), so you can find out which children will be in your child’s class. If possible, organise playdates to help put a child’s minds at ease. It will allow them to focus on the positives of going back to school – a time to see their friends regularly again. It will also remind them that they are not alone in their situation.
Revise – Going through a child’s previous school work with them can also be a huge help. This will refresh their memory, allowing them to pick up where they left off. If this is done with friends, it can remind children of a school environment, deeming it less daunting.
Prepare – If a child is particularly worried about their school work, ask their teacher for an outline of the upcoming curriculum. By going through this, it will help them feel prepared and in control.
Organise – Regardless of which stage a child is at in their schooling, exams are one of the largest causes of stress and anxiety for children. It is difficult to get around this, but time management is the key to a calm(ish) child. Help them make a revision timetable, allowing plenty of time for breaks and rewards. These can include a fun day out with their friends from school. Again, this will allow them to feel in control, preventing them from feeling overwhelmed with the work load.
Please let us know of any other ways you help your child with their feelings of anxiety.