8 Tips on Easing Your Kids into School
1. Talk About School Beforehand
In the weeks leading up to school it is beneficial to your child to begin communicating that school is starting soon. This conversation can consist of what grade they will be entering, how many days a week they will be attending school and the name of your child’s teacher. Speaking casually about these components will help to normalize this transition and work toward comfortability with the idea of attending school.
2. Encourage Questions
Along with enlightening your child on their future school experience, it is also crucial that questions are accepted and encouraged. Especially for first year students, your child may be inquisitive about elements that seem self explanatory as a parent. Creating a safe space for your child to voice their questions and concerns will help to create healthy conversations about school between you and your child.
3. Screen Time
Being that during school screen time is limited, it is important to gradually reduce screen time at home as well. Teaching your children to occupy themselves another way during the day will be beneficial for their transition back into school. Doing quiet activities instead such as workbooks, crafts, coloring books and reading will help to model activities that your child will participate in during the school day.
4. Modify Bedtime
Summer consists of longer days, making it difficult to implement an early bedtime when the sun is still up! However, in the weeks leading up to the first day of school it is time to buckle down and go back to early bedtimes. By doing so, your child will be able to acclimate to the early bedtimes and wake up times that are required on school days.
5. Coping methods for Stress and Anxiety Surrounding School
Before school jitters are normal and that is okay! If you recognize that your child is nervous or stressed before school, talking to them may be in their best interest. Sometimes, just a conversation about expectations for school will suffice, other times coping mechanisms need to be implemented. Many children are noted to be most concerned about being liked by peers and teachers, being bullied, and getting in trouble. When discussing concerns like so with your child, teach them how to cope with these feelings.
Positive self talk
Remind your child that they are smart, kind, etc. Also encourage your child to do positive self talk on their own. Children are like sponges, model positive self talk on yourself and suggest they try it as well. Affirmations like this can help to reassure your child of their worth and potential, which elevates their self confidence.
When feeling overwhelmed, taking a mindful moment can help to soothe and regulate racing feelings. Mindfulness is done in a quiet space where your child should sit, and focus on breathing and bodily awareness. This is done in a slow and controlled manner. It may be difficult to embody mindfulness for a long period of time right away. Start slowly with a 1 minute timer and increase the time as your child succeeds. Mindfulness can be done for as long as needed, 1 minute or even 10!
- Talk to a Trusted Adult, Friend or Teacher
Being scared and overwhelmed can feel lonely, your child needs to be reminded that they are not alone. You can do so through encouraging them to talk to someone they trust if they are struggling in any way. Explain that talking through tough feelings is a way to overcome them.
6. Regulate Eating Times
Getting into the habit of supplying endless snacks during the day is very easy to do during the summer. With school coming up though, it is ideal to limit snacks throughout the day and stick to breakfast, lunch and dinner. This way your child will not be alarmed when they only get one time to eat at school.
7. Buy School Supplies Together
Buying school supplies is fun! Get your child involved and bring them along to pick out their favorite color notebook and pencil case. This will create excitement for when it comes time to use the supplies at school.
8. Create a Morning Routine
Mornings can be tough, make it easier on everyone by creating a morning routine for your children. This routine does not have to be complex, by giving your child a few simple tasks to do before school every day these mornings will fly by! To assist your child further, try creating a task chart, or use the one linked below!