It’s almost September, which means it’s nearly the start of a new school year. Whilst lots of children can’t wait to get back to school for others it can be daunting. They can feel a great deal of pressure, nervous about new routines and old friendships and it can have a knock-on effect on their confidence.
This may be particularly the case this year. The last two school years have been very unsettling for children with disruptions and uncertainty and much loss to their routine. Hopefully, for every child, the summer has given them back some space for fun, exercise and play before a new term starts again
Sometimes as adults we forget just how big and intimidating the world is for children, and something such a going back to school can seem like a scary step after the comfort of the summer at home. As a GP and mother of two, I see this all the time myself. Just try and remember that there are some easy steps you can take to help boost your child’s self-esteem.
Don’t bottle things up.
Talking with your child about their concerns is key and encouraging them not to bottle things up. It’s true what they say about a problem shared is a problem halved. Taking the right moment is important. Kids of any age don’t like to be interrogated and often just bat away questions if they feel too uncomfortable. The trick is to find the right time to make them as comfortable as possible: perhaps when they’re relaxed anyway by a game or a walk, or when they are distracted by a task such as helping with the washing up. Car journeys can be a good time: it can be easier to talk about worries when people do not face to face.
Another great way to help your child relax and boost their confidence is to get moving. Exercise not only reduces anxiety, but it makes us happy, encourages teamwork and camaraderie and is a good way to prevent stress early in life as well. That’s because when you move your body it produces endorphins – these are hormones within the brain that make us feel great. Not only that but exercise brings with it a sense of achievement for kids, connection with the outdoors and a chance to socialise and interact in a non-threatening situation with peers. Of course, it also has tonnes of physical benefits too! Children naturally want to run around and be active, without even realising all the benefits this can have. As parents, we just need to give them plenty of opportunities to do just that.
Build a sense of achievement.
Once the school term starts again it is so important to make sure that children are able to feel a sense of achievement outside of school assessments. Children thrive off feeling like they have progressed or reached a goal whatever that target may be whether that’s at an afterschool club, playing a sport, doing art or playing music. Life’s all about balance and that range all help to build their confidence and develop their mind.