As a Kent photographer, I work closely with a lot of families and I have noticed a lot of parents are worried about their child going back to school.

Understandably, there is going to be a lot of children worried about going back to school. As a parent myself, I am excited for my children to return to school and see their friends but I am also worried about how they will adapt to the change. Lots of children have not been into a classroom since March and will have to follow new social distancing rules and procedures. Many children may be worried about meeting their new teacher for the first time and finding their way to their new classroom. It is a lot for our children to deal with and it is no wonder that so many parents are saying their child is scared to go back to school. It is important to address these anxieties before school starts to make the transition as easy as possible for them.

Recognising the signs

It is not always easy for children to recognise their anxieties and express their worries. Signs that a child is anxious may form in them being extra clingy, not sleeping and even display physical symptoms like tummy ache. It is important that we talk to our children and address any worries your child may have about going back to school.

Just talking to your child about what things will be like when they return may be enough to calm and reassure them. There are plenty of online resource to help explain the changes going on. Childline has some great tips for parents to prepare children for their return to school.

Anxiety can drive frustration and lead to what might be perceived as bad behaviour. Karen Young Interestingly says ‘If their behaviour is fuelled by anxiety, it has nothing to do with ‘bad behaviour’ and everything to do with a brain that is trying to find its way back to safety’ Here is an excellent article, It offers a great understanding of how our children’s brains work, their needs and how to comfort them.

Be positive

Talking to your child about what they are looking forward to about going back to school will help focus on the positives. You may want to look through photos of them with their school friends and in their school uniform to get them to think about the fun and friendships that they can look forward to. School photographs of them smiling and laughing will help them build excitement about returning to school.

The media have predicted a rise in anxiety in children during this time, so you are not alone. As a family photographer living in Walderslade, I meet children and families all over Kent and I have noticed a great support system in our local area. Kent community health offer advice and support so worth a read. The school should be fully prepared for this and have a support system in place. The most important thing to remember is it’s not about trying to get rid of the anxiety but trying to manage it. Addressing this before school and having an action plan in place, should make everyone feel more at ease.

I hope this has helped and given you some useful resources. If you have any tips you would like to add, please share on my social media page

On a positive note, I will be running my Back to School Mini Shoots in September so you won’t have to miss out on your child’s school photos. This will be a way to focus on the positive of 2020 and celebrate the return of children back to school and hopefully some level of normality. If you are interested in having your child’s school photos taken at my studio, local to Chatham & Maidstone, please take a look here. Or contact me at the bottom of the page.