Back to School by Nidhi Singh

I felt so anxious. Twisting and turning all night but the time didn’t pass. With every hour, my
heartbeat became swifter and palpitation became so loud I was afraid it would wake up my
5.8-year-old daughter. No, she wasn’t sick or anything!
It was D-Day. Her prep-school was reopening after 18 months. Oh, what a day!! 30 days of
school later, I am grinning from ear to ear. I’m sure she spoke of my anxiety to her teachers
and they laughed hard as well.
The school looked so festive that day, adorned with balloons and posters. After many
months of online school, the school teachers welcomed and cheered as students trickled in.
School is crucial for children’s well-being and social development. There is no debate on
that. But post-pandemic, anxiety in us is also understandable. It’s a mixed bag as we as
parents know the importance of school but we still are wary of their safety. With each
passing day at school, I became less anxious and seeing my little one enjoying school each
day helped it. But do we know what our children are feeling?
Starting school back can be confusing and tiring for young ones. Adjusting to school routines
takes time. Reconnecting with friends and classmates is important but being in social groups
can be intimidating as well. Learning in peer groups is of prime focus for teachers. It should
be okay even if our children have few ups and downs. It will all settle at some point. Being
confident and positive at being back to school should be our main concern.
A few pointers to help our children settle in the school routine:
1. Make sure your child gets plenty of healthy food and sleep. Bedtime routines should
be followed very precisely.
2. Take out some time in evenings to spend with your children and indulge in an activity
together like play in the park, reading a book.
3. Maintain family routines and plan family dinners together.
4. If your child has some interests, do enroll in an extracurricular activity.
5. Listen to your child, when he/she is saying something. Now is a good time to lend
your ear and be patient to hear all class chats. And if they don’t share at all, that is
also okay. Don’t push too much.
Few children might feel overwhelmed and could struggle while returning to school after
the pandemic. If you notice any of these symptoms in their behavior you must share
with their respective teachers first.
1. If he/she is eating less.
2. If he/she is sleeping less or way more than usual.
3. If he/she seems less interested in doing things.
4. If he/she is withdrawn from you.
5. If he/she is not participating in conversations.
6. Being more clingy/grumpy or angry than usual.

Looking after yourself during the transition of back to school and work is also imperative. It
will benefit the entire family and not just your kid. Giving your child plenty of love and
support at home will ease this transition. Let your child know its ok to be nervous and
uncertain. Give some control to your child and help them take decisions based on their age
bracket. Assure them how we got through the pandemic, the jittery feeling of “Back to
School” will pass. With flying grades!!

And Yes, I am sleeping better.