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balance

How was your day today? (Pre-School and Primary)

Checking in with your children after a long day of school will help them process their daily experiences. Making time for them will let them know they have someone who will listen to their joys, fears and concerns. 

Written by Bridget Curran, Head of Student Support Services, and her wonderful team of counsellors

Especially in this time of transitions, from confinement to half classes to full classes, with the health and safety measures in place, your children need to express their daily impressions. By asking open questions you will help them to make sense of their feelings, thoughts and behaviors in order to integrate these in their own life story. It will also make them more resilient for future challenges:

 

  • How did you feel about going back to school?
  • How did you experience your teacher and some friends wearing a face mask?
  • How was it to see some of your friends back and others not?
  • How did the social distancing work out for you?
  • How do you feel about going back to a full class next week?


And they may have questions too. Children do not always talk about their concerns readily, so they need your patience. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around when you do the dishes or work. It is typical for young children to ask a few questions, return to playing, then come back to ask more questions. Sometimes they may ask the same questions again and again as they try to make sense of things. You know your children best. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. When sharing information, try to provide facts without promoting a high level of stress. You may remind them also that grown-ups are working to address their concern. And give children simple actions they can take to protect themselves.

If you keep your answers simple, truthful and age appropriate, children will be reassured by your consistent responses.

You can also watch for signs of stress. These may include fear of being alone, bad dreams, “accidents” or constipation, bed-wetting, changes in appetite, or an increase in temper tantrums, whining, or clinginess. These signs may also manifest itself in relation to school: poor concentration, loss of motivation, school avoidance, or withdrawal from activities or friends.

Your patience, attention, extra hugs and reassurance when they come home from school, plus doing calming, comforting things at bedtime, can go a long way. If you feel your own stress affects your child or you are not able to manage your child’s stress, please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher or school counsellor. We are here to support your child and you. We are all in this together.

 


 

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