While some children look forward to returning to school, others dread it and the first few weeks back can be difficult. It can be especially more difficult now that our nation is grieving for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and experiencing the current living cost crisis, amongst other difficulties. In this blog we would like to offer some advice and share some ideas concerning coping with these difficulties.
During times of crisis it is easy to fall down the rabbit-hole of negative thoughts or negative self-talk (bad thoughts about yourself). This can happen to both children and adults, and one idea we propose to help with this is gratitude journalling. All you need is a piece of paper or a note-book, then both children and adults can write a list of things they feel grateful for.
“Today I am feeling grateful for my dog because she lifts me up and looking after her helps me feel good.”
However big or small, you should write down what or whom you feel grateful for. This will help distract the mind a little, and instead of thinking about the things that are hard and getting stuck in a negative loop, your child will be able to focus on the good in their life.
It’s important to show our young people that we as adults too struggle with certain tasks, and that sometimes we have to try things multiple times. By showing them our struggle we can also show them how to cope with it. Something as small as having a hard time opening a jar can be an opportunity to do this. Instead of immediately opening the jar, demonstrate some struggle in front of your child and make a bit of a fuss about being unable to open it.
Next, take a deep breath and say something along the lines of, “I can’t open this jar right now but that’s okay, I can try again later when I’m ready.”
Then a few minutes later try again and succeed in opening the jar. This will show your child that it’s normal to struggle and upon seeing how their parent/guardian dealt with the issues, they too may take that approach when something hard comes their way.
Alternatively, share a story with your child about a time when you struggled and what you did to overcome your struggle.
Our blog written by Aleksandra Dul, our English GCSE and A level Tutor.