Are you ready to throw your socks at the expression "new normal"? Join the team!
Especially with everything that has been happening in the world and not knowing what life will be like moving forward. This has brought lots of new challenges into our lives.
Right now? It’s Back to school!
Starting school or starting a new school year can be stressful for kids of all ages at the best of times. Can you imagine what it is like right now?
Besides all the “normal” questions: Will I like my new teacher?, Will I be placed in the same classroom as my best friend? Will I be able to learn new skills? Our kids are facing new challenges none of us ever had to face when we were in school: physical distancing, the worry of getting sick, the need for masks and lots of new health protocols.
All these new challenges can make even “brave children” feel nervous or reluctant to return to school, especially if they have been learning at home for months.
Children may also find it especially difficult to be physically distanced from friends and teachers whilst at school.
While they are facing all these new issues, it’s really important to help them face these new challenges in a new positive way!
How can we teach our children to develop bonds and stay connected even in these unsettling times?
Here are some pointers that might help them ease in:
- Help them choose a soft item of clothing as part of their back to school outfit. Could be a soft vest, a cosy soft scarf, softly lined legging or trouser pocket. Research has shown that touching something soft can help your child down regulate their nervous system helping them feel grounded and secure. This is especially helpful when physical touch from friends and teachers isn’t possible during the school day.
Have a little rubber, easy to clean squishy ball in their pencil case. Squeezing a ball or toy has shown to help release tension and stress. It can help give us a sense of where our body starts and ends by providing a type of resistance or boundary. Once again helping your child feel more secure. Of course, make sure they don’t share it and clean it every day 😊
Teach your child a simple breathing technique when they start feeling overwhelmed. They can place their hands on their tummy and slowly breathe in to the count of 4 through their nose feeling their tummy rise and breathe out slowly through the mouth to the count of 6 feeling their tummy settle again. Extending the out-breath not only releases a build-up of carbon dioxide but also gives them a moment to focus on the present moment and remember that they are safe in their body.
They can also practise saying positive affirmations in their mind: ‘I am safe’, ‘I am supported’, ‘I am loved’. Maybe you can help your child come up with their own affirmation to say when they get shy or nervous or overwhelmed. Have them write it in rainbow colours on the top of their homework journal to remind them. 😊💛
Try putting some tasty, soothing herbal teas in their lunch flask or bottle. Herbs can be wonderful allies when your child is feeling stressed or nervous! It's really important to instil a sense of calm! Why not try our amazing Chamomile dream tea, it might really help since it brings a feeling of comfort that only a hug from you can beat!
Finally, leave plenty of time at the end of the school day for cuddle time with you. Touch releases feel-good hormones and can even help boost your immune system. Be proactive and keep an open flow of conversation with your child(ren). Let them know that it’s ok to be worried and all their emotions are welcome here! Their emotions will be changing constantly and you need to show them that’s okay and that they can count on you.
Just take it one day at a time!
We can do this!
Karin Mueller is co-owner of Solaris tea and has been working in the field of wellness and health for over 20 years now. She is a Medical Herbalist (BSc Hons), practising Midwife (BSc Hons), Massage and Spa therapist and experienced course facilitator and teacher on a wide range of topics related to mindfulness, meditation and women’s health. She is currently also studying in the ‘Medicine of Light’ school to deepen her spiritual practise. Oh, and she is also a mom of two amazing kids.