Back-to-school fears and how to overcome them

Ideas and suggestions from Monmouthshire Foster Carers to help reduce fears that children may have about returning back to school.

Routine is something many of us strive to offer our children so when lockdown occurred last March and schools were closed, normality, as far as routine was concerned, ceased for most children and young people. Although many people are looking forward to getting back into a routine and the children returning to school, there are many children who are faced with anxiety and concerns about what school will be like now and how different everything will be.

So, we have put together some ideas and suggestions from Monmouthshire Foster Carers to help reduce some of the fears that children may have about returning back to school.

Stay Positive

“Involve the child in buying uniform and items to return to school, get them to try on uniform a week before school starts and praise how smart they look, make any alterations that are required before hand rather than leaving it until the day they go back to school”. We advise parents and carers to talk positively about going back to school, focusing on the good things, like seeing their friends, their teachers, and doing the fun activities they enjoy the most.

Contact the school.

“Check the schools own websites or school’s newsletters, there’s lots of information on here relating to return dates and uniform requirements etc. so look at this in preparation”. Where possible it is a good idea for parents and carers to contact the school and ask about the arrangements in place, such as where will my child be having lunch or how playtimes might be, so that they can explain and reassure children about the details.

Talk to the Child

“Talking to the child and asking about any anxieties or anything that they may be worried about”. Parents and carers should be encouraged to talk to their children about how certain changes make them feel and explore how the child might handle difficult situations, helping them to prepare for any outcome.

Talk to the Teacher

“Some of the schools provide links to videos to meet teachers. Use this service if available as it may allay any nerves about having a new teacher and give an opportunity to see a familiar face”. Just like any other time at school, it is important to explain to a child that it is okay to speak with the teacher if they are worried, anxious, have a problem or are scared. Teachers will want to make the learning environment safe as well as productive for children. If a parent or carer feels their child is struggling in any way, they should find time to share this with the child’s teacher. The teacher will want to help, as their priority is to make sure that children have access to what they need and to ensure that they are academically and emotionally ok.

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