Tips to help you and your children manage the transition back to face-to-face learning.
Published 4 June 2020
For children, this will mean returning to school for face-to-face learning in the classroom. Just as the transition to learning from home took some time for children and families to get used to, so too may the adjustment back to school.
With school-aged children across Victoria slowly returning to face-to-face learning, it’s normal for them to have mixed feelings about returning to school. Children may feel anxious, scared, reluctant, excited or just overwhelmed. Children’s feelings may vary depending on their age and stage of development, and their family situation. How children feel about returning to school may vary both between children in the same family, and it may also vary day-to-day for a particular child. It’s important for you, as a parent, guardian, or someone with children in your care, to acknowledge the changes and talk with your children about returning to school.
Talk to your child about how they’re feeling. Listen to them and reassure them that it’s normal to feel anxious, scared, overwhelmed or worried about going back to school. It’s also normal to feel excited at the same time as feeling stressed or scared about the changes and lifting of restrictions.
Talk to your children about the positives of the upcoming changes, including what they like to do at school that they haven’t been able to do at home during remote learning.
Make a plan for the first day and first week of school. Planning can help reduce stress and anxiety by adding structure and routine to new, changed or uncertain situations.
It’s important to be aware that any transition can take time and every child will be different. Some will bounce back into their old routines immediately while others will take longer to readjust.
Remember that being away from school and then returning to a changed environment can cause anxiety and stress. Problem solve any concerns or issues together and write down strategies that will help your children to cope.
If your children are experiencing prolonged behavioural issues, seek help, as the COVID-19 pandemic could trigger more serious stress disorders and it’s best to seek help early.
If you’re concerned, talk to your GP, Kids Helpline, the school psychologist or school counsellor/welfare co-ordinator, or a local health service.
Relationships Australia Victoria has more than 70 years’ experience supporting Victorians. We’re still providing services during COVID-19, including through telephone and video appointments.
Our counselling service is available to support individuals, including children and adolescents, as well as couples and families.
For more information or to talk to us about how we can support you: