By Corinne Yeadon, of the Being Better practice in Newmarket Street, Skipton

BACK to school!

The phrase that ordinarily strikes dread into children nationwide. September 2020 is a very different arena.

Social media was saturated with beaming little faces proudly posing in school uniforms eager to embark on the school year. Some families will have thrived, bonded and embraced creative home schooling, during lockdown, for others the pressure of keeping small ones focused and occupied will have been exhausting and tested the patience of a saint.

Parenting is a juggling act, constant worry of doing ‘the right thing.’ Parental anxiety has increased, there is the knowledge that kids will benefit from being in the routines of school, amongst peers, but rising concern about infection risk on the back of it.

Hearing government officials lecturing parents about what is best for their children is dangerous territory and demonstrates little regard about the hardship many families are experiencing, as a consequence of coronavirus.

The financial strain on parents when kids return to school is phenomenal - uniform, school equipment, lunches and travel are a costly business.

Kids are not separate entities - just people in smaller bodies who also have anxieties about the current situation. They may not be able to articulate what they are worried about but providing opportunities to express themselves through art or play allows parents to form strategies to ease concerns.

There are a range of self help tools available such as worry dolls, dream catchers and crystals. A simple, homemade, worry box for little notes can help. Parents don’t always have all the answers but it’s OK to admit that.