The COVID-19 has had a significant influence on all of our lives, and we sometimes forget about the distress it may have caused our children. Returning to school after lockdown and enforced closures is an exciting idea for many pupils, an opportunity to see friends and engage in activities they like. However, it should be understood that many children are afraid of returning, thus we must address how to help these youngsters mentally prepare for their homecoming.
We understand what some pupils will be going through as a prominent international school in Bangkok, and by working directly with parents, we can help to address any worries and anxiety that they may be having. Of course, children of different ages would experience different emotions, therefore we attempted to address the issues by age group. Naturally, difficulties encountered by younger students may also be encountered by older students, and vice versa. This page is meant to provide a broad guidance, but we understand that each child’s situation must be treated on an individual basis.
Primary School Students
Most worries in younger children are caused by uncertainty, thus we always recommend that parents talk to their children about school as much as possible. If they do express worries, you must address them gently and practically, while also focusing on the things they like doing with their instructors and friends. The goal is to generate some energy and excitement, so don’t say anything that would damper their attitude at this point.
If you believe your kid is feeling more anxiety than normal, we recommend that you contact us to address the situation. If your child likes their instructor, we may set up a video conference to help them feel much better. If you believe that this will make your kid uncomfortable, we will do everything we can to assist you in any way you see suitable.
The Year 6 to Secondary School Transition
Even under “normal” conditions, the transition to senior high school may be difficult for students since it takes them out of their comfort zone and away from some of their friends. We are worried that the epidemic has done little to alleviate the situation, which we fully accept.
Again, the best approach to deal with the problem is to talk about it honestly. One common fear is that they will not have friends in their class, and with reduced class numbers and some parents and children forced to return to their home countries, we believe that this will be a greater issue this year. All of our teachers and support staff will be accessible to talk about any concerns you or your child may have, and our welfare teams will be actively dealing with children who they believe are anxious.
From 11th to 6th Form
After all of the issues with GCSE examinations and results, another key transition phase in a student’s life is made more difficult. Students between the ages of 16 and 17 may feel more vulnerable and anxious due to increased demands and the sensation of needing to comply to societal norms. Unfortunately, some students will not have received the marks they had hoped for, which can have an impact on their confidence.
Parents should be as supportive as possible, though they can expect some pushback. Parents are unlikely to be considered “cool,” so encouraging your child to mix with their pals now that social distance limits have been eased is always a good idea. If you find your child becoming more reclusive or introverted than normal, we recommend chatting with them. If you want professional guidance, our welfare teams are still available.
Identifying If Your Child Is Anxious
Some kids are more open with their sentiments and emotions than others, making it difficult to discern whether there is a problem. Younger children will frequently complain of stomach pains or feeling nauseous, whilst older children may cry. These are frequent indicators in children in general, but because children have been cocooned at home for several months, it is possible that more pupils may be affected this time.
Unfortunately, if you believe that the problem is little, the only approach to deal with it is to confront it head on. However, if you believe it has evolved and your child’s conduct is unique, we will be happy to help. If your kid or daughter appears fine one minute and then withdraws within themselves, which is out of character, you should consult with your doctor, who may recommend expert therapy.
Speaking with Young People About Their Issues
Speaking to younger children about their issues can be difficult, since younger students are frequently unable to adequately communicate their feelings and older students are hesitant to address their difficulties with their parents. Try to chat to them at a suitable moment, such as while you are relaxing together watching TV or going for a stroll. If they are unhappy or preoccupied by anything else, it is generally not the greatest moment to approach them since you will encounter resistance.
Reassurance is essential; let them know that having concerns is normal and that expressing them is important to you as a parent and to us as a school. Tell them you’ll help them and try not to pass judgement, even if it’s difficult, and don’t become furious at this point. If they have done anything wrong, you should address it later because you need to win their trust.
Remember that anxieties are natural, but COVID-19 is unusual and has presented us with new problems. With the right assistance, stress, anxiety, and anxieties may all be managed. If necessary, assistance is available from the school, your doctor, or another professional.