Use these tips to help your kids beat the back to school blues. Do you remember when you were in school? You could hardly wait for the school year to end and summer vacation to begin. The closer a new school year came, the more you had back to school blues.
Your children probably feel the same way as the new school year is drawing near. What can parents do to help with their children’s back to school blues? Here are some ideas of how to help your child prepare for the new school year that’s just around the corner.
1. A couple of weeks before school starts, begin to get them back on a “school night” schedule. Whatever schedule works for your family (in bed by 8 p.m. and up by 7 a.m., in bed by 9 p.m. and up by 7 a.m., etc.), begin to implement it in increments to get them used to going to bed earlier and getting up earlier for the school day.
2. Listen to your child’s concerns about going back to school. Think about how you felt when you had to return to school. Acknowledge their fears when they first happen; don’t push them aside. Then talk things over with your child; tell them a story about when you were a child in the same situation.
3. If you’re allowed, go to the school a couple of days or weeks before school starts. Take your child on a tour of the different classrooms or areas in the school that they’ll spend time in. Meet the teacher if they’re available. Be sure to take them by the lunchroom, library, office, school nurse’s office (if there is one), and most importantly, the restrooms.
4. Have a “dry run” for getting ready each day for a few days before the first day of back to school. Plan to set everything out the night before just as they will be during the school year, and then have your child get dressed and ready to leave to see how things will work. This will also allow you to see if there are some areas of the morning routine that need to be tweaked to work better.
5. Create a special place for your child to do homework and leave their backpack so needed items are less likely to be lost. You may want to create a routine where you go through your child’s backpack with them each night, gathering any papers that need to be signed, assignments they need to do, and jot down any important dates on the family calendar.
6. Have a back to school blues-buster party. The night before school starts, plan a special meal, watch a favorite movie on Netflix, and plan a back to school blues-buster dessert. Choose whatever will cheer up your child and give them a good feeling about the first day of school.
Your child is not the only one in the world to deal with back to school blues. It helps to talk things over, be prepared, and then celebrate the new beginning. You might find that you’re able to handle your own back to school blues better, too.
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What if Your Child is Starting a New School
Kindergarten students often have first day of school jitters. That’s to be expected. You can also expect your older child to have first day jitters if they’re starting a new school. Here’s what you can do to help them overcome their jitters and have a successful school year.
The first thing is to ask open-ended questions and truly listen to their answers. Are they afraid, nervous, worried, or some other feeling? Ask them what makes them feel that way. Helping them talk out their feelings may make starting a new school a little less scary.
1. Go on a tour of the school. If your child is going to a new school, help alleviate some of their fears by going to the school a few days before school actually starts. Try to visit while the teachers are there so your child can meet their teacher. They may be able to see where their desk will be and what the classroom and school layout is. Knowing a little more about the school and not feeling lost will make the first day of school easier on them.
2. Review before school starts. When going from one grade to another, particularly if they’re going to a new school, a child may be fearful. They may be afraid they’re going to have more work than they can handle, they may be afraid that they won’t have any friends, or any number of things. Go over some of the work they did the previous year to help get them back up to speed.
3. Talk to the teacher. If you can, try to get a list of the students that will be in your child’s class. Make contact with the parents of those students so some of the children can meet before school starts. This may help your child feel better about a new school as well as the other children. Knowing someone at a new school is sure to make the prospects less fearful.
4. Tell them stories from your childhood. If you can remember how you felt when you moved from one school to another it may help your child feel better. Of course, you don’t want to make up a story in an attempt to change their feelings, but letting them know how you dealt with a similar issue may do just that.
5. Practice makes perfect. Long before school starts, have your children practice getting their clothes ready the night before so everything is laid out for them in the morning. They will know when school starts how to get ready because they’ll be in the habit of preparing the night before.
6. Answer any questions your child may have. Will they have to change classes during the day? Will they have time to use the restroom between classes? What do they do if you forget to pick them up? These are some of the questions your child may have when starting a new school. Do what you can to alleviate their fears by answering their questions to the best of your abilities. If you don’t know, don’t hesitate to contact the school to get the answers for them.
It’s normal for students to feel a little bit uneasy and jittery when they’re starting a new school. By taking some time, asking questions, and listening to their answers, you will be able to understand how they’re feeling and what’s making them uneasy. Talk to them, find answers to their questions, and you may find that their new school jitters melt away.