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By Kaitlin Greenaway (Provisional Psychologist)

Transitioning back to school can be challenging at the best of times, let alone after a three-month lockdown. You have been waiting for the day when the kids can go back to have some time to yourself again but now the time is here you are feeling more anxious than excited. The world has changed and you may be hearing mixed messages about what is best for your child. Whilst our life won’t be back to normal, returning to school is the first step to getting back to your everyday routine.

You may be worried about how your child will cope in a different environment and routine, worried about your child coming into contact with the virus at school or worried about whether a return to online learning is around the corner. It is important to acknowledge that both yourself and your child will be experiencing a degree of uncertainty at the thought of returning to school- these feelings are valid and shared by a lot of other parents in the same position!

If you have been feeling anxious at the thought of the kids returning to school, here are some tips to make the transition easier for you. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup and the key to looking after your kids is looking after yourself first!

• Accept that things are likely to be uncertain for a while- accepting that life won’t be back to what it was before lockdown will help to lower your expectations and reduce your anxiety

• Acknowledge what you are feeling- don’t try to bury your emotions! The transition will be easier if you acknowledge that it is ok to be anxious and these feelings will pass.

• Take some time for yourself- it is important to have some time for you! Self care looks different for everyone, so find what you love and take some time to do it

• Talk with other parents- talking with other parents in the same position will help you to feel supported. A problem shared is a problem halved.

• Talk to a professional- if you or your child are struggling, engaging in professional help can ease the stress felt at home.

If you are wanting more information about how to talk to your kids about returning to school, see our ‘Getting Back to Normal’ guide for some great tips for kids.

Remember, you are not alone in your concerns in returning to school and back to a ‘normal’ routine. If your child is needing some help transitioning back to school, our team of psychologists can help you. Give us a call today on 4722 9097.