Covid-19 has had a negative impact on a lot of things; the economy, society, and travel, just to name a few. There are, however, a lot of effects that are not so obvious, such as the impact it has had on mental health.
One of the biggest impacts it has had is on children, especially now that we are coming out of lockdown and restrictions are gradually being eased. Children have become accustomed to having their parents around 24/7 in lockdown, so just like when they are very young, they are struggling to be separated from them.
If your children are anxious about being away from you and about going back to school, here are our tops tips on how to ease that post-lockdown separation anxiety.
How to ease post-lockdown separation anxiety
To help your children make the adjustment from lockdown to returning to school, here are some simple steps that you can take:
- Talk to your children now – start talking to your children about school and other locations they like to go, what they like about them and how much fun they have there. This will remind them to associate these places with happiness instead of fear or anxiety.
- Tell them about what you will be doing – your children need to know that you’ll be safe when you’re not with them too, so communicate with them. Talk about what you’ll be doing when you go back to work and about how much you enjoy it.
- Re-introduce old routines gradually – your children are likely to have had different bedtimes and playtimes, as well as different food etc, so start the transition back to their old routine. First, start putting them to bed and waking them up as you will do when they are in school. Next, start to separate from your child for brief periods of time (for example, leaving them with an older sibling or a grandparent while you pop out to get the groceries). From then on, start changing things one at a time until they are comfortably back into their old routine.
- Meet with their teacher (either face-to-face or virtually) – if you can, reintroduce your child to their teacher. They will be looking after your children when they return to school so meet with them or have a conversation with your children there. It will allow them to feel comfortable and safe around them.
- Meet up with old friends – during lockdown, some friendships will have deteriorated so encourage your child to mix again (as much as possible within the rules). By simply getting them outside and meeting friends at the park, you can allow them to run around and get some separation from you without them feeling anxious about it.
A slow transition now will help them later
If your child is one of the many that are suffering with post-lockdown separation anxiety, help them transition from the lockdown routine to one that resembles their old one as much as possible.
When everyone is back in work and they have to return to school, it may be overwhelming for them so prepare them for it now. Encourage them to get back out into the outside world again as much as possible within the rules and you’ll soon find that they’ll adapt to this new normal and will be able to be away from you without being so anxious anymore.