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How to prepare your child for their return to school

Based on the recent findings in the Co-SPACE and Co-SPYCE study, Prof Helen Dodd shares practical tips on supporting children as they go back to school.

She was quoted in this article: “I think most children are really resilient, and the majority will be pleased to go back,” says the child psychologist Professor Helen Dodd at Reading University. “But returning to school after being in the house with their parents for five months is going to be one of the biggest transitions of their lives, and we need to treat it as that.”

Dodd has been working on the Co-Space study of the effects of Covid-19 on the mental health of children in 10,000 families, and results show that being off school hasn’t been good for primary school children in particular. “Parents report that their emotional, behavioural and attentional problems have all increased. They need to go back,” she says.

Parents play a huge role in the transition, Dodd says, and what we do in the next ten days will have a big impact on the way they settle in. “It’s really important over the next couple of weeks for parents to prepare with their kids, and to present a positive emotional tone about school, because kids look to the adults around them for how to react.”


Read full article on The Times (requires subscription to get digital access to full article)