CHILDLINE ADVICE: Calm ‘back-to-school’ nerves with plenty of rest and sleep

Parents and carers across the North-East may feel relieved as children across the region return to school, but for some young people, a new term may fill them with anxiety.

A child starting a new school may feel trepidatious about being surrounded by new faces in a new environment and with new and more complex classes awaiting them.

They may also be worried about bullying, being unable to keep up with schoolwork, or many other issues lots of us haven’t faced since we were children.

Over the past year, we delivered more than 3,200 counselling sessions with children about this issue – jumping by a fifth compared to the two years before the pandemic.

So we know it’s on children’s minds here in the North-East and across the United Kingdom.

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It’s common for children to feel nervous about returning to school, and it might take them a while to feel comfortable.

To help calm their nerves and ensure they’re prepared for the school term, try to help them get plenty of rest ahead of the return to school.

Suggest they spend less time before bed on their mobiles, tablets or gadgets to improve their sleep.

By getting back into a healthy night-time routine, they’ll get to school rested and ready to learn.

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Try to ensure they eat breakfast each morning.

Even just cereal or toast will help prepare them for the day ahead.

And if you’ve got younger children, talk them through how their new daily routine will work, including playtimes, lunch breaks and who will pick them up.

But if they still seem worried but don’t feel able to speak to you about their concerns, please let them know that they can speak to our Childline counsellors any time for free, confidential support and advice on 0800 1111.

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If they don’t want to speak on the phone, they can have 1-2-1 conversations with our counsellors at www.childline.org.uk.

There they can also visit the Calm Zone for tips and activities on how to de-stress.

They can also use moderated message boards where they can speak to others their own age to find out how they are dealing with similar issues.