School tours can be a time of great excitement for many children and one of dread for many parents. The cost may be one issue, but especially for those with younger children it may be the first time you have allowed anyone take your child on a day out. It is ok to feel anxious about placing your trust in the childcare team to take good care of your little ones. Managing your own anxieties is the key to supporting your child to go on these trips with ease.
- Don’t panic.
- Children are very sensitive to our tone of voice, even if we are saying something positive; if our tone is nervous our children will pick up on it.
- Talk with the school to check out the details of the trip. Where they are going? What bus is taking them? Does it have seat belts? How many adults are supervising? What is the missing child policy/accident policy? Having this information can help you to stay calm and not fear the worst.
- School trips are a great way for children to build up their confidence. Even if you are worried, tell them it is ok for you to worry a little, but that you trust them.
- As parents, it is important that we let our children know that we trust them to be responsible. Give them some examples of how they have already shown that they can make good choices. This will reinforce their confidence.
- Remind them of the key rules: stay with your friends, no wondering off, wear your seat belt and listen to the teacher. When children come home from the trip take the opportunity to praise them for being so brave and responsible.
- Each year the trips get easier, especially during primary school years. When the overseas trips come up in secondary school you may be back to square one again.
- Remember how responsible your child can be. Trust that children/teenagers do make good choices every day. This is your guide to allowing them take the next step of overseas trips. We have to remember to stay calm, see the advantages these trips give to your child and use it as time to recognise how much they are growing up and how capable they are becoming.
- Talk with your children about the trips, children like detail as much as adults do. Young children may want to know about practical things such as; where will the toilet will be? What they will do if they have an accident of any sort? To help ease these worries, pack the bag with them so they know what they have e.g. change of clothes, food, drinks, tissues etc.
- If you are feeling very anxious you are probably not the only one. Try talking to other parents that morning and do something together to help distract you from the worry. This may be a good opportunity to form new friendships and support networks.
This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.
LIVE Facebook Q&A with Geraldine on this topic Monday 15 June from 11am-12pm in our NEW One Family Parenting Group. Join in to post your questions and share your experiences.
Next you might like to read 10 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe When Out and About
Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.