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Getting Back into School Routines

During the holidays, the regular school day routine has probably been more relaxed. Bed times may have been later and the morning alarm clock may have been turned off! 

Going back to school after any break can present challenges for children, young people and even parents and carers, so it’s worth doing a little bit of preparation before the new school routine begins to make the transition as easy as possible.

Good routines help build good habits, reduce stress, ease anxious feelings, and reduce stress for young people and parents.

Below are a few tips on how to make the transition back into the school day routine.

  • If family routines have been more ‘relaxed’ during the holidays now is a good time to get back to them;

    • Establish usual bedtimes and getting up times.
    • Have meals at regular times to ease back into the pattern of the school day.
    • Start sorting school uniform and equipment it’s worth checking they haven’t grown out of things in advance!
    • Have something that you 'always' do together each day. It could be a walk after breakfast, or a jigsaw or colouring in the evening. Having some special time together gives your child the space and time to talk.

    Getting prepared and following routines are all ways of getting your child used to the idea of returning to school soon.


  • After a summer holiday of playing and socialising, getting back into a  homework routine can be difficult;

    • Work out a homework schedule with your child to help them stay focused and motivated.
    • Complete homework as soon as school is over before tiredness sets in.
    • Provide healthy snacks to keep your child’s energy up while they works through their homework.
    • Let your child know that you understand the hard work they are putting in and give them frequent positive feedback to help motivate them to get homework done.
  • Let your child know that his nervous or apprehensive feelings about the start of school are normal. All kids (and adults!) have a hard time getting back into the routine of the school year. The knowledge that he is not alone in this experience will help your child feel he’s being heard and understood.

    For more information on techniques on reducing nerves and anxiety, *click here*.

  • Children look to their parents and carers for reassurance. If they see you struggling with worries and that you are disorganised or stressed – they are likely to feel this as well.

    Let your child see you taking steps to mange your worries and stress in a positive way.

    • Get good information and focus on what you can control.
    • Let them see you being calm and making realistic plans.
    • Use relaxation techniques, eat well and exercise to role model good ways of coping.

    This will really help your children feel like you can cope and keep them safe. They will be able to ‘catch’ your healthy coping habits too!

    You may be struggling with your own mental health. Getting support for this can really help you and your child.

    If you feel like you need some support to manage your own mood or anxiety then there is now a Norfolk wide 24/7 helpline *here*. They can provide immediate advice, support and signposting for people with mental health difficulties.

    You can also get good information from the following websites;

  • If the return to school is causing your child stress and anxiety that is hard to cope with and getting in the way of them being able to enjoy life, talk to school in the first instance.

    You can call Just One Number to talk to a health professional or there are some useful helplines below;

    • SHOUT - text 'Shout' to 85258 for 24 hour crisis support by text - available 7 days a week.
    • Childline - Young people under 19 years old can call 0800 1111 for free support.
    • Young Minds Parent Helpline - Call 0808 802 5544 free of charge Monday-Friday from 9.30am-4pm.

    For more information on techniques on reducing anxiety, *click here*.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.


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