As we enter into August, we try our hardest to hold on to every last bit of summer and push that lingering anxiety about the new school year aside.
For many children and parents, a new year often opens doors to new fears, worries and anxiety.
Too often parents and children do not think of the little things that can help make the first few weeks of school run as smooth as possible. Below are a few tricks to help make this transition a little bit easier:
- Establish an earlier bed time at least 3 days prior to the first day of school. Be consistent with their new bed time routine and communicate with them the importance of getting enough sleep. If you are struggling with their new routine- a sticker chart or some sort of reward system is always a good idea. Many teachers will use this in the classroom as well! In our house we pretend that the fire alarm is the window to the North Pole, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and any other exciting visitor that the kids want to make sure sees good behavior!
- Make sure, as the parent, you are establishing healthy morning behaviors yourself. Try to put the electronics away yourself and spend that time in the morning “Committed to your kids.” We all know that after school, time is filled with activities, homework and bedtime routine prep-so that additional hour in the morning if crucial time spent with your little ones.
- For your little one that may struggle with routines, a few options are: creating a chart of things to do in the morning. The visual can make it easier for kids to be prepared for the “what’s next” of a busy morning. Setting a timer can also help set expectations for how long it should take to perform a specific task in the morning.
- Spend a Morning Minute: Taking even 5 minutes to connect with your child and give them one on one attention can directly impact how they start their day. Brainstorming fun ways to spend the weekend or even the evening together can also help jump start any Monday morning blues.
- Make a Plan! As a parent myself-I spend LOTS of time planning out their activities and making color coordinated calendars. But one thing I bypass is how their new schedule make impact my current schedule. I have found myself many mornings overly stressed because I tried to cram my routine into their new routine and it simply does not work. Make sure that you are building in your time to get ready in the morning so when your children wake up you are ready to help prepare them for their day.
I have sent my child to school in the wrong uniform, forgot to dress them up for 100 days of school celebration and forgot to give them lunch. It happens to us all!
Create a calendar for yourself that is visible to everyone in the family. Make sure everyone’s events and transportation needs are listed. By checking it daily you will be able to maintain some control over the details of the school year!
But hey-we are not perfect; that is why there is picture retake day.
We hope these helpful tips will allow you and your little ones, the ability to ease into the school year with confidence! Stay tuned to part two of this blog; that tackles more techniques around bullying and handling anxieties of a new year.