For kids going back to school and starting certain sport activities, it could look like a quite different place compared with how it was before lockdown.
Classrooms will be smaller, and kids will be asked to sit further apart and to stick to social-distancing and small groups at playtime. Their sport activities will also be very different than before, and their normal little high 5 or hug will no longer be allowed.
You and your child could be worried about going back to our “new normal” life, which is understandable as the lockdown has been a long time especially for a young child.
For children it will feel different than to starting a new term or returning after the school holidays. These are defined periods with a clear beginning and ending.
During school holidays parents could plan activities and socialising, this lockdown was sudden and kids at home were isolated from their friends.
Kids may have mixed feeling, try making it clear to them that worrying is natural and this may help to keep them safe by reminding them to stick to the new rules.
Be a role model for your kids, as they take their cues from you. Be positive and relaxed about them going back to sport activities and school, this could help them to keep things in perspective.
Talk about it, ask open questions like “what have you missed most?”, “what are you looking forward to?” and “what is worrying you?”. Just by talking about it will help make your kids feel more comfortable.
Explaining to your kids that there are lots of ways that their sport or school will still be the same just with a few changes. It will not be the same as before but going back to school and activities is the first step to getting used to the new ways.
Kids use a process called magical thinking to fill in gaps that are not explained to them and often jump to the wrong conclusions which can worry them more. Try avoiding this by talking and explaining that their football training will be held in smaller groups and their class sizes will also be smaller with desks further apart.
Make them understand that these are all changes that clever scientists, doctors and teachers have come up so that we can all beat the virus together and to keep all safe.
Should you kids be worried about catching Covid-19, explain to them that kids have super strong bodies that fight off bugs the best. Tell them that sticking to the rules they are less likely to catch it.
For young kids the first day back to school or activities could be overwhelming, so try turning up in plenty of time and go in with your kids, let them see you being friendly to the coaches and parents keeping social distancing, so they take their cue from you.