Some of you will have children who have already returned to school, albeit part time, and some of you will have children who will be returning for the first time in September, so this episode has relevance for everybody whatever transition you are going through. Some children are terribly excited about going back and some are quite apprehensive. And parents may have mixed feelings too.

Our guest today is Louise Treherne who is Head of Character Education at ‘Role Models’, an organisation which supports children to be resilient and creative problem solvers.

Louise has a degree in Psychology, 12 years’ experience as a teacher and 5 years as a Senior Deputy Head at a London Prep school. She now works as a qualified coach working 1:1 with adults, teenagers and children to help them move forward with specific goals, explore limiting beliefs and develop their direction and confidence.

 ‘Role Models’ has a programme of life skill courses for children age 5-11. Louise has developed this programme with new and exciting ways to help children explore the four key areas of resilience, leadership, creative problem solving and collaboration, in order to be the best version of themselves and reach their potential.

In this episode we look at how to manage children’s worries, what modelling parents need to do, and how to help your child focus on positive conversations, talking about what’s in or out of one’s control. We talk about the importance of the ‘soft skills’ for children and also for ourselves as adults have to cope with transition too. We all have feelings about returning to school that we may need support with.

Listen to this episode with Louise if you want to learn:

  • What ‘character education’ is (as defined by the Department for Education)
  • Why parents should focus on positive conversations about going back to school and not project adult feelings onto the children while allowing children to express any anxieties they may have. (Emotion coaching will be a familiar skill for regular Parent Practice Podcast listeners)
  • Talk to children about what they can control and what they can’t and put their energy into the former
  • About the worry box and how that can help children, and adults, to compartmentalise their worries and preserve energy for other things
  • How vital adult support (from parents and teachers) is for children right now to look after their mental health(especially 5-11 year olds because they are developing crucial skills in this age group)
  • About what might be difficult for children to cope with on return to school, including socialising, and how we can prepare them for that:
    • How allowing an adjustment period might be what your child needs
    • Acknowledging feelings of overwhelm and anxiety about separation from family, and having simple strategies like a note in the lunch box or have a matching drawing on both parent and child’s wrist that each can look at
    • Helping your child Identify 3 things to talk to friends about
    • Reminding them that communication is just as much about listening as speaking –preparing some questions might be helpful
    • Developing rituals of connection on their return home at the end of the day
    • Using love-bombing
  • How Role Models workshops for children can help them build resilience, leadership, creative problem solving and collaboration through experiential learning techniques, including helping a child really develop a growth mindset around challenging problems
  • How it helps to teach children to identify what learning zones they are in for different activities, about neuroplasticity and about the power of their thoughts in shaping their feelings and their actions
  • How to help children feel they have more control over their own lives
  • How helpful it can be to put structure and routines back in place sometime before school goes back, including practicing the school route which might allow all the feelings to be aired

Louise shares her top tip for preparing children to return to school and for them to be happy, confident and successful and a surprising uplifting moment that has come out of the past few months.

If you want to get in touch with Louise and Role Models check out the links below:




Role Models website:

Louise’s coaching website:

Role Models Linkedin:

Louise Treherne Linkedin:

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