How to support social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) upon return to school
As we return to normality slowly, the uncertainty of life in these odd times is bound to be taking its toll, especially to our nation’s teenagers. It’s pivotal to look after each other, so we’ve put together a guide for parents on how they can help their teen’s transition back to secondary school. Here are a few of our top tips:
Setting a routine is extremely important, regardless of a person’s age. As habits begin to grow, momentum builds, allowing students to get used to their challenges and what is expected of them.
Set clear goals for them. This is extremely important, breaking down each goal into steps which can be ticked off enables students to feel like they are making progress. For example, a student may tell themselves ‘today I need to study’, however psychologically, this can seem like a mountainous task. Instead, encourage them to break down their study aims into small goals so they can feel like they’re making progress.
Provide anenvironment where students feel safe discussing their feelings and concerns. Often, worries can seem immeasurable in a person’s head, so speaking them aloud can help people make sense of their feelings. Here it is important to empathise and come up with strategies on how to manage their issues.
Give them the freedom to make some of their own choices, spend time alone and figure things out. People are always going to make mistakes, it’s normal and natural, especially for teenagers. It’s just important that we learn from these mistakes and grow from them.
To summarise, these 4 points could provide some relief to teenagers who are struggling emotionally. Obviously, each person will vary and there is no single solution that will remedy the problem, however, these ideas could be a good start and allow some momentum to build