Going back to school can be daunting, we have all had the feeling before. Your children are no exception, and are likely to be nervous about that dreaded first day back. I’m sure we all have stories of the nerves we have felt in the build up to our first day into the next school year, or the excitement we felt while trying to get to sleep the night before!
So we have prepared a list of things you can do as a parent to help alleviate the fears, and inspire some confidence and excitement into your child so that they go into their first day happy and energetic!
A simple yet easily missed part of ensuring your kids nerves don’t become detrimental. Re-establishing routines is not just as simple as ensuring they go to bed earlier on the run up to the first day back.
Ensuring sleep schedules are in check is a great start, but going one step further, making sure meal time is at the same time, getting up in the morning and getting ready even if your not heading out for the day, and maybe even starting to introduce some worksheets in the evening preparing them for homework.
These are all great ways to slowly introduce the ‘norm’ of school before actually getting back to it!
School Supplies Shopping
A usually annoying and tedious task which can be a pain if your child doesn’t want anything to do with it. So what can we do to turn this into a positive experience?
Why not add some game-like elements? To start, sit down with your child and discuss what they need and create a list, now set a challenge, this part is up to you. Would you both like to see how quickly you can complete the list, or maybe you come up with a theme which your child likes (i.e. Batman) and try to get as many themed items from one store.
All the while give your kid the list, and allow them to tick things of as you go around buying all the needed items. This will hopefully ease any complaints from your little one as they will be to distracted to care!
Another factor which can worry your little one is travel, if its their first time having to catch a bus or walk to school in be a very scary task when you have never done it before. So, what’s the best way to combat this?
The best way is to take the journey with your child before the first day, this is to get them used to what to expect, it helps with anxiety which comes with traveling to somewhere you haven’t been before or without someone which you haven’t travelled without (looking at you mum!).
Preparing your child
There are plenty of things to talk about when It comes to preparing your child for school. These include for the younger ones: using the bathroom, dressing and undressing themselves, eating (manners), being sociable and interacting nicely with others.
These are all crucial things your child needs to have a grasp of to have the best possible experience as it will shape how they view themselves others and the school experience as a whole. So, making them feel as prepared as they can be is sure to boost their confidence when heading into that first day back!
What do we mean by this? Its all to easy for you the parent to go about your day-to-day on the run up to back-to-school day and not think anything of it. But for your child this build up can be all to nerve racking as they start to overthink all the things which could happen when they go back.
The best way to combat this is to be positive and talk to your child about what to expect, maybe even share some stories of your own, even if they are boring when you think about them; these will help offer a grounded and real sense of what will happen on their fun first day back!
This should help calm down their over-active imaginations and instead build excitement for the fun they are going to have!
Listen to how they feel and stay calm
Your attitude towards talking to your child about the upcoming school year can have a lasting impact on their feelings about the experience. So, staying calm and listening to what your kid has to say is extremely important as they will look to you for guidance about how to handle their nervousness.
A great way to have this conversation is by discussing the up-coming school year. Talk about what they think about learning, playtime, friends, teachers, and other topics they might be wanting to talk about and let them voice their opinions. This will give you a better understanding to how they feel, making it much easier to help them overcome those nerves.
Ensuring your child's back to school day goes as smoothly as possible can seem a little challenging, but its more than worth it as their experience at school will be much better knowing they are prepared and have nothing to worry about!