Relate Cheshire and Merseyside prepares for an increase in calls when children return to school (From Wirral Globe)
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Relate Cheshire and Merseyside prepares for an increase in calls when children return to school
9:29am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
AN unexpected consequence of children returning to school this week is likely to be an increase in calls to Relate, the UK’s leading relationship support charity.
Last year Relate saw a 14% increase in calls when children returned to school and the charity expects the same to happen this year.
Callers, usually parents, tend to want help with their couple relationship and advice on dealing with the anxiety of children starting a new year at school.
Sarah Hall, chief executive at Relate Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “Like early January, which is Relate’s busiest time, September is a time of the year when people naturally assess their relationships.
“For some, the new school year can cause anxiety for both children and parents. For others, once the children are back at school they realise they can’t ignore problems in their couple relationship anymore and many people look to Relate for help.”
Tips for the new school year - advice for anxious parents:
• If you had negative experiences of school in your childhood, remember that everyone’s experience is different and there's no logical reason to think history will repeat itself.
• Try not to show your anxiety to your child. If they know you are worried, they will assume there is something to worry about!
• Get support from other parents who are going through a similar experience – especially if this is your first time.
• Focus on the new opportunities your child can look forward to, like making new friends and learning new skills, not just the challenges.
• Think about other difficult times your child may have been through and how you and they managed to cope – are there any techniques you could try again?
• Remember that settling in takes time and ensure you have plenty of family treats over the first few weeks. It’s normal for them to feel a little unsettled at school but it will really help if their home environment is as stable as possible.
How you can help your child: • Be ready for some regression. Young children may become clingier while older children may become more withdrawn or angry.
• Make sure you’re available as much as possible for your child to talk to about their concerns.
• If you’ve moved area, get involved in out-of-school activities so your child is making new friends both in and outside of school.
• Try to be generous and allow your child to invite new friends over for tea or sleepovers at the weekend.
• Be organised so your child has everything they need for their first days.
• If your child has any special needs, make sure the school knows about them before hand.
• Acknowledge your children’s feelings. Make sure they know that it’s normal to feel nervous and anxious but the feelings will pass in time – and that you will be there for them in the meantime.
Relate offers relationship counselling, family counselling and children and young people’s counselling in locations throughout Cheshire and Merseyside.
For more information, visit relateforparents.org.uk, or contact Relate Cheshire & Merseyside, your local Relate centre, on 0300 330 5793 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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