Dear Parents & Carers
There has been quite a lot in the media recently about how hard it can be for both children and adults to transition back to school and work. Although many relish the fact that life is getting back to normal, for others, the time at home and involved in a less busy and demanding lifestyle has been welcomed and the return has brought feelings of apathy, sadness and anxiety.
It’s very normal for children and young people to experience re-entry anxiety following a pandemic. Here are some things that can help:
- Be curious
Ask open questions and actively listen to understand more about your child’s thoughts and feelings.
- Normalise and validate their feelings
This means letting them know that what they are feeling is normal, other people feel the same way and that there is nothing wrong with their feelings. For example, “It must be hard to have so many worries, but it’s normal to worry about getting sick when you go back to school.”
- Help them limit exposure to media
If they are younger, this might include reducing their exposure to the news. If they are older, it might be helping them to critically think about media messages they are exposed to or ensuring they are accessing reputable sources.
- Take small steps to re-integrate into society
Some fears can be alleviated with small, controlled exposures. For example, if they are feeling overwhelmed will all the children at school, or organising for your child to meet and hangout with one or two friends after school or on the weekend can help.
- Problem-solve any concerns together
A lot of children’s main fears revolve around bullying, conflict with friends, or school related stress and this is contributing to their anxiety around going back to ‘normal’. Talking through strategies together can help your child improve their problem-solving skills and feel more empowered.
It’s ok to not have all the answers. If your child asks a question you can’t answer, or needs help with something you don’t know how to solve, be honest. It’s a great opportunity to do some research and learn something new together. (source Kids Helpline)
Not all children are feeling this way. Some children are resilient by nature – their temperament helps them to be mentally and psychologically tough. They get straight back up after a setback or disappointment. Rejection in the playground doesn’t faze them. Unfortunately, not every child has such natural resilience. Building resilience is an important attribute that school and home can work together on. Research shows that resilience can be nurtured and developed, particularly when parents themselves are resilient and they actively foster it in their children.
Resilient children share four basic skill sets - independence, problem-solving, optimism and social connection. From a resilience perspective parents and teachers need to coach children through some of their more challenging moments and reviewing what they may have learned for next time. We must avoid solving all their problems for them.
We can promote a lasting sense of resilience in our children by:
- Having a positive attitude ourselves. Our attitude as parents / carers and teachers impacts on their ability to bounce back from some of the difficulties they face.
- Make sure you model a ‘you can do it’ attitude for your child when he meets some of life’s curve balls.
- Look for teachable moments. Many children’ learning opportunities are disguised as problems. Make the most of these opportunities so that children can grow and learn from some of the challenges they face.
- Make children active participants in the family. Active participation in a family develops the self-help, problem-solving and independence skills of children that are necessary for resilience.
- Build children’s coping skills. There are plenty of strategies we can pass on to children to help them cope when life doesn’t go their way, including acceptance, getting away for a while, and normalisation.
- Promoting resilience in children is a not a single event but a continuous process that requires adults to be supportive and empathetic when things don’t go their way. It also requires you as a parents and us as teachers to have an understanding of resilience, so we have faith in ourselves, and your child’s ability to cope. (Source Michael Grose)
A reminder that school commences at 8.55am and all students should be arriving before this time. Students arriving after 9.10am need to be signed in at the Front Office and are not to proceed straight to class, otherwise they will be marked as a 'Unexplainexd Late' on the attendance roll.
Catholic Education has advised that our 'Safe Return to School Guidelines' will continue with particular emphasis on sick students. If any student has any kind of illness, even if it is simply light flu or cold like symptoms, they must not attend school. If a student is showing any signs of illness, their parents and carers must be asked to collect them as soon as practical. If students are not unwell, but have symptoms due to allergies, families should be asked to provide written advice from their GP so that we can ensure they are not unwell and are able to continue attending.
Have a great week.
Alive with the Spirit of Learning
This term we have been focused on our second keystone, Learning. The ELC have been sharing lots of wonderful prayer experiences through exploring the Whole School Focus.
Have a look at some of the wonderful learning that they have done!
First Eucharist Information Night
On Tuesday the 30th of June at 6:30pm, the Parish will be hosting an Information Night for children in Year 3 or above who are interested in making the Sacrament of First Eucharist.
This will be carried out via Zoom.
Please email Jessica Pearson-Lee if you require any further information.
Religious Education Coordinator
The Clothing Pool is now open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8.30-9.15am. Only one person will be allowed in the Clothing Pool at any one time and physical distancing is expected at all times.