“Back to School” time is always filled, almost bursting, with excitement. Sometimes there is dread in your little ones furrowed brow. There are so many new things to adjust to when starting a new school year. New teachers, new friends or mixes of friend groups, new topics and levels of difficulty, sometimes a new school altogether. This kind of change can be daunting for an adult, let alone a child.
Children need help preparing for the new year, easing the dread and amping up the excitement. Here are a few ways to ease the jarring changes that are fast approaching.
Planning a “Welcome School” night for your family. Have a special dinner where you talk about all the things to be excited for in the upcoming year and ask your children if there is anything troubling them about starting school again, or maybe for the first time. Process through their fears or worries and add positive reinforcement of the good things to look forward to. Making a special night they can look forward to and then celebrating the coming school year will help your child develop more positive feelings about school.
- Ease your child back into a school time routine 2 to 3 weeks prior to school starting. Bed time routines should gradually shift to an earlier time, easing the transition of going to bed and waking up earlier.
- Help your child set up a spot in their room to lay their clothes out for the next day. Also, taking your child to pick out a new toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, vitamins and other health and hygiene items to start the year with a “clean slate” can be a health promoting activity and an easy way to teach your child about taking care of their bodies, that will add some excitement when they get to pick out their own items.
Most importantly, showing your children through example that school is something to be happy and excited about will help them to jump in with both feet, knowing they are supported by their family.
- Setting up a time each week to talk about anything that may be troubling them, or just to share what school and social activities they are excited about will engender a bonding experience for both parent and child.
- Keeping the pathways of communication open, with children from preschool to college, is a way for parents to support and praise their child on a regular basis and bond with them as they grow and change.
How do you prepare with your children for the upcoming school year?
Do you have any savvy tips?
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