Returning to school will look and feel differently for everyone in September. As learning resumes, we can take comfort knowing that this is a change for everyone. Whether youth are returning to the classroom, a virtual learning environment, or a combination of both, there are ways to help everyone to feel confident this transition. In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we highlight some helpful tips and resources for the return to school.
- Take care of you, so you can be your best to support your children: This has been a very difficult time for everyone. It’s especially hard on caregivers, who continue to juggle so many things. Often our own care comes last. Try to take some time each day to do something just for you that helps you to feel well and happy. You know best what that is.
- Get organized: Though there are still many uncertainties, making time to organize for school may provide a sense of comfort and control. Find school back packs and lunch boxes, gather school supplies, pack indoor shoes, etc. Additional information will be forwarded as it becomes available about what the return to school might be like and what your child will need to feel comfortable.
- Prepare for things you anticipate will be different: For example, Public Health Guidelines still include hand washing and wearing masks. Practice having your child wear a mask again so they are reminded of what it feels like. Wear one yourself so that they can remember how to listen and ask questions when they don’t get to see facial expressions in the same way.
- Talk to your child about the return to school: Children may feel mixed emotions about returning to school. Perhaps they are eager to see school friends but anxious to wear a mask again all day. It is important to be honest and allow space for them to express their feelings and concerns. Make time to talk about what excites them about going back to school. Consider asking some of these questions to start the conversation:
- Who are you looking forward to connecting with this school year?
- How are you feeling about this school year?
- What’s one thing you feel excited for?
- Is there anything you feel worried about?
- How can I help you to feel comfortable about the transition back to school?
- Start to introduce familiar routines: Gradually shift to a schedule that is similar what you will use for the school week. This may mean going to bed a bit earlier, getting up earlier, and slowly reducing screen time. With younger children you can practice school-time routines. With older children, encourage them to help plan what the routine will be and how to make the shift.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How am I feeling about my child’s return to school?
Am I able to support them with calm and confidence that everyone is doing their best to make return to school healthy, happy and successful?
Connecting to our faith:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- LDCSB Caregiver Tip Sheet Preparing for Return to School www.ldcsb.ca/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1076472&type=d&pREC_ID=1370029
- School Mental Health Ontario tips for parents and families to support mental health and wellness during the return to school:
- School Mental Health Ontario resources for parents and families to support children:
Employees of LDCSB check out WorkLifeHealth from EAP Provider Morneau
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