Making the transition from summer fun to the start of the school year can be difficult for children—and it isn't exactly a piece of cake for adults, either.
Who wants to go from sleeping in late and playing all day to waking up early and dealing with the work and social pressures of school? Parents have to get back into the routine of helping kids with homework at night, preparing bagged lunches and keeping tabs on their children's progress in school.
There are ways, however, for parents to ease the change in schedule and prepare themselves and their children for the challenges and (yes, even) the fun of the new school year. Here are a few tips for making back-to-school time a bit easier for everyone:
Be prepared. A little preparation can really reduce your child's anxiety about the unknowns of the new school year.
Spend time talking with your child about school and what might happen on the first day before classes begin. If you have a younger child, try reading books about going back to school
Bring your child to school in advance. Let them check out their new classroom, find their new locker and maybe even say hi to their new teacher.
Let your child know it's OK to feel nervous when starting school. Remind them that teachers and other kids are nervous, too.
Help your child establish a regular routine to get ready for school. Let them choose what to wear for the first day, what to bring for lunch, what school supplies to buy.
Get up early enough (and go to bed early enough) so that no one starts the day feeling rushed. Ease into a back-to-school schedule over a period of at least a week. And leave a little time for the unexpected—a shoelace breaking, an extra bathroom visit—so there is no mad dash seconds before you have to get out the door.
Be enthusiastic. If you're excited about the changes ahead, your kids will be, too.
Focus on fun. If you go to school with your child on the first day, check out the playground before you go in. Meet the teacher together. Take a look around the new classroom for things you know your child enjoys—fish tank, art supplies, etc.
Don't draw out the goodbyes. Don't let your separation anxiety become your child's.
If your child seems unhappy about school, ask what's wrong. It may be a very specific problem ("The big kids on the playground never get off the swings") that you and your child together can talk about with the teacher.
And if your child has ongoing trouble adjusting, ask the school for help—talk to the teacher, guidance counselor or principal.
Starting back at school can be an unsettling time for some kids, but with a steady hand from parents and a little preparation, everyone should be back in the groove quickly—and all too soon those lazy August days will be just a memory ... until next year.report abuse