Your child might have started school for the first time recently, or maybe moved to a new school, and although for many children this development may have been met with excitement and anticipation, for others the change might be stressful and worrying.
Starting school involves a big change for your child and according to Kids Matter, it is important to help children cope by understanding their behaviours and helping them recognise, express and talk about their feelings.
Putting aside some special time with your child will give an opportunity for them to express how they think and feel about their first days at school.
It is important to help children cope by letting them express how they feel.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind to help our children enjoy school:
Have a conversation with your child about how starting back at school is going, ask if they have any worries or concerns; create a space for your child to be open about how they feel and offer support and advice. Sometimes just by listening to your child and giving them the opportunity to tell you what is concerning them, your child can work through the problem themselves and find their own solutions.
Your child may not even realise they are feeling anxious or stressed, luckily our bodies give us warning signs such as butterflies in our stomachs, headaches, sweating and light-headedness. If you are concerned your child may be getting stressed, ask them to tell you how they feel and ask whether they know why they may be feeling that way.
If your child is worried about the start of the new school year, help them to reframe their negative thoughts into something positive. One of the best ways to do this is to show them how to be optimistic when something goes wrong or to help them to look at setbacks as learning tools, reminding them about what they are good at and providing opportunities for them to succeed.
Remember that we all experience stress and it’s perfectly normal. Sit down together as a family and share the day’s experiences – celebrate their ‘ups’ and give them space to talk through their ‘downs’; by expressing their emotions your child will often feel reassured and begin to relax, especially when they realise that others have felt that way too.