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A ‘new normal’ - returning to the school campus

Supporting our students' transition towards the ‘new normal’ as they return to school campus.

Adapting is a part of life

Life transitions are periods in life involving lots of change to our lifestyle.  Many of us still struggle with change, even at times when this change could be perceived as positive. So why is it so challenging? 

Life is continuously changing and adapting and it’s not always easy. It requires restructuring our perception of ourselves and the world, including going through feelings of loss concerning what we previously knew. When life continues in the same way it always had, we probably feel reassured and safe. It is easier to feel confident when you know exactly what you are facing and how to overcome it but when it represents a change from the known into the unknown, it is harder to be confident and face what is unclear. Indeed, one of the essential parts of the process is not knowing.  Coping with life change affects our mood and requires us to adjust our behaviour into these unpredictable changes. These periods of life can be highly distressing and can bring out all sorts of feelings such as insecurity and stress.

Ready or not, we all go through numerous transitions in our lives - How can we get through them with less stress and support others too? 

 

How to support your child during the period of transition

In times of change and instability your presence and support may serve as one of your child’s most important resources in dealing with the new reality. Here are some tips on how you could communicate with your child in order to make him feel more prepared for the challenges that a transition may present.

 

Opening a discussion on the transition:

It is important to communicate about the changing situation with your child in order to create a greater awareness and understanding about its meaning and implications for both of you. Introduce the idea of the new reality that’s taking place into daily conversations with your child, discussing points such as:

  • What has been happening previously and what will be happening now.
  • Sharing thoughts and feelings on expectations concerning the transition; what are both of you worried or excited about, what might you find challenging?
  • Possible ways of adapting; what helpful behaviours and thoughts could you adopt in the changing environment? What things to keep, and which to change?

 

Reassuring your child:

You may not know the right ‘solution’ that could help your child deal with the transition, but just by being there and making your child feel comfortable enough to share with you his concerns, you can help him feel more secure when confronting the changes. Reassure them by:

  • Modelling acceptance of not having an answer to everything; what matters is that you are there for each other and you can think of solutions together.
  • Stating that transitions are a normal part of life; sometimes they imply bigger changes, sometimes smaller, but together you can learn how to adapt to them until they become the new normal.

We encourage parents to open a dialogue with students about the next stage of returning to school campus. In doing this we provide the opportunity to positively acknowledge how much they are already equipped for change. Just consider how your child has already adapted regarding virtual learning. All these skills are now a resource for them returning to campus. 

We know that some students will find the transition back to campus easier than others so that is why the counselling Team at CDL would like to support parents approach this topic confidently with their children. Perhaps you feel that talking about it may add new disruption to your child's mind? Or, are you already seeing that your child is expressing some anxieties about returning to campus?

We invite any parents who may have specific concerns surrounding the emotional impact of returning to campus to submit their questions to us in the form below. Next week we will be answering these questions to you via video response to demonstrate how we can practically talk through, and work through these changing life moments for our students. 
Whilst many of the changes concerning Coronavirus are out of our control, we can support our attitudes towards it and help shape those of our students.

 

To ask a CDL counsellor about anything about transition, change and adapting back to school life on campus please get in touch and submit your question below.

 


 

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