Parenting: Tips on helping your children return to school after Stage 4

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This year has certainly been a strange one and challenging for children to process all that has occurred.

They started off at school, settled into a routine and developed their friendship circles. Very soon after, they were home, trying to adjust to a new way of interacting and making connections with extended family, friends and school life. 

The talk of pandemic and illness may have been a scary topic, and not being allowed to go outside and connect with others as they normally would, contributed to that fear.

They eventually adjusted to this new way of living as it became their new normal. Although they wanted to return to school, they understood that all of their school friends were in the same situation and that school would return sometime soon.

Some children adjusted well to the change and some struggled causing them distress, feeling unmotivated and at times out of control. 

Now, that school is returning for all students, below are a few ideas that may help with the transition. 

Being Positive 

Children mimic their parent’s behaviour.  If you are encouraging and look at the fun things that your child will be able to experience again, they will be looking forward to it also.

Active listening

After school, make a time as soon as possible to sit and listen to your child’s day. This will build up the sense of security in your child as they will feel comfort in being able to talk about their feelings and concerns. Let them know how proud you are that they are sharing information with you.

Adapting to change

Friendship circles could possibly have changed. If your child is concerned by friendship changes that have occurred, discuss what your child thinks can be done and work out a plan together. Phone calls with the friend? Connecting in other ways? A play at a park? This is solution focussed and will help your child make solutions in the future.

Try and Keep routine.

This year, everyone has been trying to adapt to the many changes that have occurred and impacted directly.

Creating reliable meal times, bed times, morning school routines and discussions about the day, will help with creating stability. Talking about the changes and what you can do as a family to maintain structure and routine will lessen the impact and create resilience. 


Michael is a licensed social worker, clinical counsellor, supervisor and educator and has a strong desire to help people and a lifelong interest in human behaviour. In Michael's spare time, he loves doting over his rescue puppies Cody and Knodel and growing carnivorous plants.