Lockdown has been a huge change for all of us, including our children. Now that they're going back to school, we need to help them prepare for another big change. After being away for so long, it is only natural that many children and young people will be worried about returning to school.
What can you do?
The most important thing is to take time to talk to your children about how they are feeling.
There is a lot of information and advice online to help you and your family ease your children back into school life such as these top tips and support links from NHS.
You could also take a look at this from YoungMinds to help you to create a new routine, and find ways to reassure your child if they are feeling anxious. They also offer a confidential parents’ helpline if you are concerned and need advice.
The NHS has also created a guide packed full of ideas on routines and tools to help with your child’s wellbeing and self-care.
CAMHS has listed helpful online resources available to help support young people’s mental health and well-being.
Encourage your child to express themselves
Children often react well to visual aids. The ‘I express myself through’ videos include familiar faces and provide tips on how to show emotion and expression through creativity such as acting, art, dance, and writing.
Facing a big change?
The child or young person you care for may be facing a big change, for example moving school, dealing with exams or results, or finishing education entirely. The NHS has put together some useful information on how you can provide support to help your child prepare for these changes. There is also a section focused on supporting children with additional needs.
It’s important that we look after our children's physical health, but mental health is just as important. Here are some useful links that provide help and support for your child’s wellbeing.
- YoungMinds - Tips, advice and where to get support for your child's mental health.
- UK - Advice for parents on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children.
Psychological First Aid Training Online Course
If you would like to learn how to support your child’s mental health, free Psychological First Aid training is available at FutureLearn. This three-week course is available now and will help you understand:
- What is Psychological first aid?
- How do children and young people respond to emergencies and crisis situations?
- The PFA stages to supporting people: Prepare, Look, Listen, Link
- Supporting yourself and people you work with
You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience, as this introductory course will teach you the key principles of giving PFA to children and young people in crisis situations.
If you would like more information on organisations who specialise in providing mental health support for all ages, please click here.