5 tips for transitioning back to the classroom

image-from-rawpixel-id-99487-jpeg-1

The time has come for many parents around the country and globe to send their little ones back to school after what has been an unusual and uncertain few months for both adults and children alike. 

School can be a stressful experience for children at the best of times. For many, it has become an even more daunting experience after a prolonged period away from the classroom as a result of extended lockdowns. 

Below you’ll find some tips and useful resources to help reduce anxiety and support your children as they go back to school. Together we can support young people as they make this transition.

Pretty teacher talking to the young pupils in classroom at the elementary schoolBelow you’ll find some tips and useful resources to help avoid any anxiety and support your children as they go back to school. Together we can support young people as they make this transition. 

See our top tips below, or download the full guide here.


1. Talk it out 

Being open and encouraging your children to talk about their fears and concerns about returning to school is a great way to reassure both parties. 

Engaging in mindfulness activities together, such as mindful drawing or colouring, or completing a short meditation together is a great way to set the tone for an open conversation. 

Ask them to explain their drawings or talk you through their experience encouraging them to speak about their feelings and emotions. 

Try open ended questions like:

  • How did that make you feel?
  • Why do you think it made you feel like that?
  • What did you notice in your body? 

web size grandkid


2. Prepare, prepare, prepare and mindfully avoid rushing 

Distanced learning has probably meant that new routines have been formed in your household, some of them probably better than others! With no commute to work or the daily school run, for some this may have meant a few extra snoozes on the alarm have been enjoyed, without the worry of having to iron school clothes or pack a lunch box. 

Take some time to prepare yourself for the ‘new normal’ routine of busier mornings and the back to school rush. Introducing mindfulness to your child as they return to school is a great way for them to build awareness of themselves and their interactions with others in a curious and empathetic way. 

Why not set up your morning routine with a meditation that can be done together or by doing something as simple as mindfully brushing your teeth? 

image-from-rawpixel-id-69064-jpeg (1)


3. Remain calm

As parents, carers and teachers, we have found ourselves in the midst of uncertainty during the global health crisis. As we resume our regular school routines, a swirl of mixed emotions is completely normal and to be expected. Some of us can’t wait to be back in the social field of a classroom, while others have relished the time at home and found it a welcome respite from the busyness of everyday life. Making a successful transition will be assisted by stepping forward mindfully and with poise.

Regular opportunities for mindfulness as a shared activity will bring benefit to both adults and children. Together with our children, we can gently remind ourselves to bring our full awareness to the present moment – which is always ready for us to attend to. The more present we are, the more capable we often feel - which can lead to a greater sense of calm and clarity. 

A good time to do this is when you sit down for dinner together. Try asking the kids to name three things that went well that day at school.

image-from-rawpixel-id-425878-jpeg


4. Take some time for yourself 

Our children observe us closely and take their cues from us, especially in times of uncertainty. Now is the time for us to model stability and assuredness and re-establish routines. Children can sense when their parent or caregiver is feeling anxious or stressed and this can cause them to take on some of the same emotions. 

In order to reduce your own sense of overwhelm, make sure you take a few minutes a day for yourself. Whether that be a brisk walk, enjoying your morning coffee or even taking time to sit and practise a meditation. The more content you feel, the more content your children likely feel. This will help enable for a smoother transition back to school. 

Other activities like talking with friends or exercising are other ways you can support your own mental health.

image-from-rawpixel-id-2310899_edit2


5. Early nights all round 

Getting a good night sleep is crucial for emotional, social and all-round wellbeing, and not just for your little ones. 

A regular meditation practice can be very useful as a proactive tool but exercise, diet and sleep are equally important.  A regular sleep pattern is crucial for a happy and healthy mind and the Smiling Mind sleep program can help establish that routine to make sure everyone is getting the hours they need. 

An earlier night and established bedtime routine will help your little ones to settle back into the day to day life of the school routine and hopefully help you sleep at a little bit easier, too.
 

image-from-rawpixel-id-45135-original


We hope these tips will allow for a smooth transition back into everyday school life. Remember, everyone is doing their best and little, mindful changes every day can go a long way with re-adjusting your whole household into a new daily routine. 

Make sure to download Smiling Mind’s free Step Back to School guide. This useful tool is taken from our Care Packs and will be useful for anyone returning their little ones to school over the next few weeks. 

TO ACCESS THE FREE CARE PACKS PLEASE REGISTER YOUR DETAILS HERE

Smiling Mind

Written by Smiling Mind

Latest

Self-care tips for parents, from The Wholesome Doctor

Self Care is all about checking in with yourself regularly and asking yourself "What do I need in this moment?" 

Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 4 minute read

Navigating emotions with your child

By encouraging your child to acknowledge and recognise how they feel in the present moment, not in the past and not in t...

Family, Parents, Self care, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

3 steps to support your child through worries

Children excel when they have caring, trustworthy, and supportive relationships with others in their lives. You as their...

Family, Parents, Self care, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 top tips to support your child's mental health

The Smiling Mind State of Mind report found that 41% of parents reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on the m...

Children, Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 6 minute read
Quote of the week
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”
Pema Chödrön

At home

5 top tips to support your child's mental health

The Smiling Mind State of Mind report found that 41% of parents reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on the m...

Children, Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 6 minute read

Findings from our annual State of Mind report

With the COVID-19 pandemic stretching into its second year, supporting the mental health of Australians has never been m...

Children, Mental Health, COVID19 3 minute read

Responding to the “hidden” youth mental health crisis

Throughout the 18 long months of the COVID pandemic, a parallel mental health crisis has been growing in the shadows. No...

Children, Students, Mental Health 2 minute read

At Work

5 Tips To Help Recognise and Address Workplace Stress

As you slowly make your way back to the office and transition from the working from home lifestyle, you can be met with ...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness 4 minute read

3 tips to help you Do Nothing

Smiling Mind has teamed up with the Do Nothing Challenge to help raise money for mental health and establish healthy hab...

Workplace, Mental Health, Self care, COVID19 3 minute read

5 Ways to Support Your Team's Mental Health This October

It comes as no surprise that the combination of public health and economic crises that has occurred over the past year h...

Workplace, Mental Health, Self care, COVID19 3 minute read

At school

5 Steps To A Better Night’s Sleep

It’s no secret getting a good night’s sleep works wonders for your mental and physical health – but for some, getting a ...

Family, Students, Schools, Mental Health, Meditation, Informal mindfulness 5 minute read

3 Ways to Support Your Kids As They Return To The Classroom

After months of lockdown and homeschooling for the country’s two most populated cities, the time has finally come for ki...

Family, Students, Schools, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 minutes with Principal, Tip Kennedy.

Meet Tip Kennedy. Tip is a principal at Richmond West, an inner Melbourne primary school that recently received its very...

Teachers, Schools 3 minute read

News

How Smiling Mind put preventative Mental Health care on the map

There is perhaps no greater challenge than to start something out of nothing.  Ten years ago, this is exactly the challe...

Mental Health, COVID19, Media release 2 minute read

Partnership Announcement - Kmart

We are excited today to announce a new partnership between Smiling Mind and Kmart. Built on a shared vision of a happier...

Mental Health, Media release 1 minute read

Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System is a game changer for mental health prevention

Smiling Mind has supported findings released today from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, speci...

Media release 2 minute read
Recent initiatives
Screen Shot 2020-11-16 at 3.30.05 pm

NAIDOC Week with Jack Charles