Childline Looks At New Term Pupil Anxiety

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Some pupils face anxious days as the new school term gets under way.

Dear Editor,

Sometimes, it is a relief when children return to school after the summer holidays and routine is resumed. However, it is important to remember that this can be a difficult time for some young people.

They may encounter new teachers, classmates and subjects and this may cause apprehension or anxieties. Children could be worried about many things such as keeping up with homework or not being around to help their family. And, sadly, some children have worries about bullying or are subjected to it by other children.

Mairead Monds, Childline Manager Northern Ireland. (Photo by Press Eye/Darren Kidd)

Last year, Childline carried well over 250 counselling sessions with children from Northern Ireland who contacted us about bullying and cyberbullying. Name-calling, spreading rumours and blackmail posted publicly on social media profiles, blogs and online pictures were just some of the ways young people told counsellors they were being tormented. These experiences can have a devastating impact on their lives and potentially can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and, in the very worst cases, suicidal feelings.

School is an enormous part of childhood, so it is important that all children feel safe and at ease.

The following tips can help parents discuss this with their children and ensure they are as prepared as possible for the new academic year and the challenges it brings.

  • Talk to your child, sometimes they may not know how to tell you about a problem they’re having
  • Encourage them to use Childline’s message boards for support – they can provide a great place for young people to share their experiences
  • Remind them they can talk to Childline, at any time of the day, all year round, about any worries or concerns they may have

Equally, as a teacher, you might notice a change in behaviour from a child, which could mean they have not enjoyed their time at home over the summer. This could be caused by any number of reasons, including witnessing parents arguing, suffering abuse or experiencing family illness.

No matter what your concern may be about a child, the NSPCC Helpline is there to help adults on 0808 800 5000 or:

help@nspcc.org.uk

and Childline is available to listen to children 24/7 on 0800 1111, or via: www.Childline.org.uk

Yours sincerely,

Mairead Monds

Childline Manager ( Northern Ireland )

First Floor, Lanyon Building

Jennymount Business Park

North Derby Street

Belfast

BT15 3HN.