As the debate escalates this week around children returning to schools in england, I am currently on a mammoth sewing bee, involving name tapes, sore fingers and the realisation that my eyes are not what they used to be!
My eldest is changing schools and after the summer of sun and homespun fun, the excitement of new friends and the next adventure is palpable. However not every child will be lucky enough to be so unerringly positive about the upcoming school term. The weather at the moment with storm Francis here, appears to be mirroring the growing unrest.
Scotland, which has been “back to school” now for two weeks, and a school in Dundee is the first to send all pupils and staff home to isolate after an outbreak.
For many parents, this return to near normality represents an unwelcome risk; both to health and perhaps the ability to keep working. With the R number rising again, the possibility that other areas of life may shut down again to keep schools open and protect children’s future, is a gloomy prospect. Yesterday the PM U-turned again – this time on face masks for Secondary kids…. there is bound to be more of that to follow as we get to grips with the new world. Tight budgets and economic uncertainty going forwards rocks everyone’s mental health, not just the childrens.
For help with kids anxiety there are some good places to go, youngminds.org.uk, www.childline.org.uk and nipinthebud.org has some great tools for teachers and parents in how to lighten the mood but keep things safe. Not everyone has had the same experience in lockdown and respect should be the number one starting point.
Some things though are still the same and with pennies in mind, I have just trialed our new (and fast approaching launch) website, rumage.com in the hunt for last minute second hand kit. It’s a win win to help those with fewer pounds fiol their pockets, and for me it saved time as well as some readys. My son is chuffed with his” big brand”, luminous green footy boots. In his words “There’s no point in having new boots mum, they are only going to get muddy really quickly!”
In our house, we are on the surface enjoying sharpening pencils and pairing socks, but having had a COVID experience back in April, there is an underlying unease of the change of season and an acute awareness of how unstable the future can be. Learning to wear a mask maybe part of teaching our kids to get dressed; nailed socks now the face covering. This virus is not going anywhere – well not soon anyway!
So, every opportunity to grab a laugh is now the motto, and watching mummy try to thread the thirtieth needle was an easy one! Keep it light if you can but above all be safe and do what’s right for your family!