“When Rohan overheard his parents talking about school reopening, his happiness knew no bounds, he hurriedly took out his brand new school bag that was tucked deep inside the cupboard since 3 months, caressed it with his soft palms and started stuffing it with his almanac, pencil box and not to forget, his hand sanitizer and face mask.
Overhearing the hustle in the room, his parents rushed to check-in and were completely overwhelmed with an array of mixed emotions.”
It is true that parents turning into a teacher during lockdown was hard, but letting our children go out of their safe home into a world of perceived uncertainty, will be harder. While some parents had difficulties in balancing work from home and their children, now they may find getting up early again more difficult-it’s probably been 3 months since they last woke up really early. While some parents still have a health concern or Covid-19 making a resurgence, they also want to believe the information shared by Government and Health Authorities to be right. While some parents want to get their “me time” back, they are still worried about their young children who may not follow 100% social distancing in school after meeting their old friends.
Similarly, our children are also going through the same emotions, the difference being, they may or may not express it the right way, but as parents, we need to acknowledge these feelings as normal and be gentle on ourselves and our children.
Children are also considered (by The World Health Organisation) to not be carriers of COVID-19.
So instead of worrying, we can focus on how we get ourselves and our children ready for the next big step, ie, going back to school.
Vega schools, one of the safest schools in Gurgaon, has a Centralised Air Filtration system comprising inbuilt fresh air units to minimize bacterias & viruses, the school campus is in compliance with the WHO guidelines for the post-Covid-10 world.
The school also has open classrooms with a present average density of almost 150 sq feet per student, making it one of the safest schools in the country.
Here are ways to get ready for the Unlock:
PREPARE: Vega schools, a Problem-based learning school in Gurgaon, always believes in identifying the problem and starts preparing around it in collaboration with the little children. Hence we need to prepare ourselves and our child mentally, emotionally, and physically for the transition back to school.
The school may look different, they may or may not get to sit or play with their classmates, they may or may not use the play area, the classroom may have lesser students and they may have to put on some extra clothes/shields. These facts need to be shared with them in advance with appropriate reasons and help them cope more effectively. Sometimes visuals can help, we can show them pictures to help make things more familiar.
READJUST: We, now, have to readjust back to our “on –time” routine from the “let it go” routine. Let’s agree that lockdown did give us some relaxation in our routine and we were more chilled out with respect to bedtime, screen time, study time, and playtime. So now it’s time to re-establish the old routine to help ease into school time. Of course, gradually, we have to get ourselves and our children back to their usual routine as they get closer to the reopening date.
REASSURE: Our little learners may look excited to go back to school, meet their old friends and favorite teachers, but they may also have doubts about how come the virus won’t attack us-after all that’s what we have been telling them during this lockdown-stay indoors, stay safe. They may also have seen deaths of close family members due to this virus. Thus it’s time to ensure them, that if we take proper safety measures, we will be safe. Reassure them that school is putting equal efforts to keep the place for them.
TALK: The more we talk, the more we open up. So we have to talk to our children about this sudden change in routine and going back to school. Having an open conversation about what they are looking forward to in school, who are they more excited to meet, how will they react if they don’t get to see few of their old friends, what they want to do on the first day of school, what are they worried about, etc., will help them reassure their emotions. Talking should also include giving them honest and accurate but age-appropriate information about the current situation.
This small pep-talk can be done days before school reopening and of course depending on the mood of the child. We need to even continue such talks once they return from school too. In case children have more queries regarding Covid-19, click on this link to know more.
Listen: Sometimes just listening to our little children patiently can help them come up with their innermost feeling. There can be days when our children may have a lot of questions or “things to discuss” about going back to school. All we need to do is just listen, without offering any opinions or advice. The idea is to not belittle their concern or trivialize them, just lend our open ears. No judgments especially when they just need to get something off their chest!
MOTIVATE: “Yes, you are a big healthy boy, I know you will sanitize your hands in school”, “We can do it, we are not afraid of the virus anymore”, “Wow your masks match with your outfit”, “You look so cute in those shields “. We need to constantly motivate them while preparing them for this big transition. After all, they are scared and confused too.
Normalize: While preparing for the big day is important, we must not forget that we can’t just shut our children off from their previous lifestyle. So we have to normalize the situation at every given step. From extra screen time, to suddenly no screen time on weekdays, our children will definitely not take this drastic step happily. Hence we have to continue with the previous routine while gradually introducing the new lifestyle. So when they are back from school in the afternoon, instead, we can encourage them to do fun activities they did during this lockdown or watch their favorite cartoon. They should not feel that the end of lockdown means no more fun. It can be hard to digest, trust us!
Seek support: We understand and respect the fact that whether to send our children back to school or not is an easy decision to make. So it is very important to make an informed decision keeping the safety of the entire family in mind. Hence reach out to schools to know more about the hygiene facilities, hygiene practices, and social distancing measures. Let the school know in case we are worried about anything in particular. We need to collect as much information as we can, to help ease our confusion or fear if any.
While the lockdown has been challenging for all of us, returning to school post lockdown can be equally challenging and stressful. It’s important to recognize that we will take time to adjust to the sudden shift, but we can definitely achieve success with proper planning, collecting the right information, having an open conversation, and keeping some consistency in our day to day routine. Let us seize the day and move forward with confidence.
Please feel free to contact us in case you have any queries on sanitization, school safety, and other information.