- Some South Africa students officially returned to school on Monday
- With the Grade 7 and 12 students setting foot back in the classroom for the first time in months, anxiety was running high
- The South African Police Service shared some tips on how to handle this unprecedented situation
South African schools have opened amid the continued threat of the Covid-19 virus on Monday.
Grade 7 and 12 students were the first batch of students to return to school and social media was flooded with images of this moment in SA history.
Briefly.co.za reported that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had confirmed that the plan to open would go ahead with the exception of schools that weren't sufficiently prepared.
The South African Police Service wished learners good luck and urged them to remember to practice preventative measures.
Noting the anxiety students and parents alike would be feeling over this moment, the SAPS shared some tips on how to handle this emotion:
• Encourage the expression of feelings. Do not make assumptions about children’s thoughts, concerns or worries.
• Provide a safe place for children to talk about their feelings. Have a discussion with children without external distractions.
• Help the child to label the different emotions he/she may have.
• Normalise feelings by letting the child know that is okay to feel irritable, sad or angry.
• Remind the child that it is not a good idea to take out negative feelings on other people.
• Encourage children to write their thoughts, feelings and experiences in a journal. This will provide them with an outlet to share what is on their mind.
• Initiate the dialogue. Ask what the child has heard or seen. Follow up by asking what the child thinks and feels about what he/she has heard or seen.
• Discuss the options on how to maintain routines and structure. It helps to normalise disruption and restore a sense of safety.
• Provide appropriate facts and information. Avoid what if fears by offering reliable, honest information.
• Communicate with adults in the child’s larger network who can help with the changes in the child’s life (e.g. teachers, friends, parents, coaches).
• Encourage confiding in persons or professionals outside the family. Some children are uncomfortable expressing strong emotions to their parents for fear of upsetting or hurting them.
Take a look at just a few posts from social media below:
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