Back to school blues

4min read

The return to school can trigger a range of emotions in parents and children. Parents may feel sadness that extended time together as a family is over, mixed with relief that they don’t have to provide all-day care while their children are at school. Children may feel excited at a new term and being back with friends, or apprehensive at what awaits them.

Problems at home or at school can make the prospect of going back distressing. Young people may react to family conflict by being reluctant to leave home or by lacking confidence with their peers. Those who are approaching a change – going from nursery to primary, primary to secondary, or starting a significant year with important exams – may feel particularly uncomfortable, as may their parents.

Parents who did not have a positive experience of school may, without realising it, pass on their anxiety to their children or find it difficult to support their children by communicating with their teachers. Children benefit from encouragement and reassurance from their parents about going back to school, and from having anxieties listened to and taken seriously.

Parents need to feel able to talk over their fears and worries with other parents and family members and with the school. Talking to other parents may give you the opportunity to share your experiences with other parents and to get some fresh ideas on how to help you and your children make the most of life.

Further resources

It may help to chat to other parents on our forums to find out how they are dealing with this issue within their family life. You can also talk to us online via our live chat service, email us at or call us on our helpline on 0808 800 2222 to speak to trained family support worker.

Health and wellbeing

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