Tips for parents whose children are going back to school amidst the pandemic in Mauritius

Published on 2021-08-25 at 13:55 by Liza Bonne
Children attending several private institutions around Mauritius will be heading back to school soon. And if your children attend private schools, it is likely that they have not been to school since the beginning of the year, right before the second lockdown began. So here are a few tips to ease the anxiety.

Talk to them and prepare them mentally

This first day at school is going to be very different from the other first days at school and chances are, your children already know that. They might have already been wearing masks, sanitizing and keeping social distance from their peers for a while now. But that will not make it any easier for them. Going back to a familiar environment, seeing their teachers and meeting their friends can make them forget the sanitary measures. Without scaring them, gently explain that we are still in a global pandemic and that it is important for them to keep their masks on whenever needed and be careful. It is challenging talking about these to your children without making them anxious but use the resources at your disposal. Speak to their teachers, or school counselors to understand the best way to put these across to your children.

Be there for them and listen to them

Whatever you do, it is important for you to be here for your children and to listen to them. They might have fears and anxious thoughts of their own about going back to school. Especially after watching or hearing the news these days in Mauritius. So let them know that they come to you for anything and listen to them when they do without judging or dismissing them. Nothing they feel is stupid or dumb. All their feelings and emotions need to be acknowledged and eased. Do not hesitate to seek professional help if you feel like you need to.

Try to make it as normal as possible for them

Normal is a strange word these days. But for children, especially smaller children, familiar emotions or feelings can make it more soothing. And this can be anything from a scent, a taste, a feeling or a sight. So, if you always make pancakes for breakfast on school days, get your batter ready! Hug your children goodbye when they are off to school or when they are back. Make them a favorite lunch and make sure they can see their friends or classmates despite the prevailing sanitary measures.

Transport arrangements

One of the things that will be daunting for this new school year is transport. Parents might not be comfortable letting their children ride the bus, school vans or take public transportation to school. It might also be a little scary for the children to get on the bus. So get together with other parents and try and figure out a safe way to get your children to and back from school. Ask for a little flexibility from work and work timetables out with the other parents so that your children can cocar with their friends.