April 12, 2018
Summer is almost over! It means: school will soon be back in session.
Transitioning from summer to school vibes is quite overwhelming. And yes, even parents get anxious when it's time to prepare their kids for the incoming school year. The anxiety is double for the kids, though. So it is much better to prepare them for the school year ahead as much as you need to prepare yourself.
Going back to school is stressful for all kids regardless of age. Addressing the stress is the key. Talk to your child about new learning and experiences that he or she can gain from this school year. Discuss what will be different this coming school year and why this can be a good thing for him or her. You can set up new goals for this year such as making new friends at least once a week.
Maintain a positive attitude about the whole experience too. If your child can see how excited you are for it, she or he can mirror the same level of excitement about going back to school. While at it, make the last weekend count. You may plan an activity—indoor or outdoor. Let your child participate in planning. Or better yet, include your child when shopping for back-to-school supplies. Allow your kids to have some autonomy from choosing backpacks to lunch bags.
Children need time to adjust. Provide them a head start by adjusting scheduled routines to accommodate the impending school days. When the school year ends, it's only natural for kids to linger in their beds or take their time playing or watching TV before going to bed. A plus for you if you can obtain your child's schedule ahead of time. You can plan the changes based on this, adjusting their sleep cycles. Restarting or creating new routines would take about two weeks.
Squeeze in up to 15 minutes of one-on-one with each of your kid. By this time, your child would want your undivided attention. It can be challenging for you, but you need to do this so you'd understand how your child feels about the coming school year. He or she may not be that comfortable voicing out concerns or questions especially in front of other siblings.
There is nothing more exciting for any school-aged kid than buying new school supplies and setting up everything at home including the study area. Including them in the process also gives them the idea that school is just around the corner. This also reduces the first-day of school freak-outs because everything's been accounted for.
Taking your kid to the school and getting familiar with the classroom can also do the trick especially for the first-timers. It gets them into the momentum because they would know what to expect on the day itself. If allowed, take your child with you during the orientation session to ease his or her fears. This is also a good opportunity to introduce your kid to the teacher more so if your child has not spent much time away from you. Knowing someone like her gives your child the comfort to brave the unfamiliar. Talk to the teacher too and share with her essential information about your child especially about food allergies, health issues or other special circumstances.
On the first day of school, the teacher will be very busy, and she may not be able to attend to all the needs of your child. You can role-play various scenarios that may induce in your child at home before school starts. In this way, he or she would know what to do about certain things that may happen in school such as when someone bullies him or her or when he or she wants to befriend a classmate. Another stressful situation is when introducing oneself in front of the class. It would be great to practice in front of you so your child will feel less fearful on the first day.
With all these, transitioning from summer to school is easier if you will be proactive about it. Start the preparation ahead of time. Be patient with them and yourself because all the things you will do for them, and you will do together at least two weeks before the summer vacation ends will set up your kids for success this school year.
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