Going back to school is often a time of mixed emotions: sadness or anger about the end of summer, excitement about seeing friends and teachers again after months away, worry about new classes or new friends, and joy about choosing new school supplies. But this September, those typical emotions are heightened like never before.
Regardless of their age, many children are afraid to start or return to school. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to put their minds at ease and help them prepare for a new school year.
- Buy school supplies
Buying school supplies can work wonders in this regard. New backpacks and school clothes, new stationery and exercise books, shiny new pens and pencils – all of these can greatly boost a child’s morale and confidence. If your budget is tight, you can take advantage of local programs that sponsor free school supply giveaways.
- Restore a routine
It is important for children to establish a fixed routine. Write down the steps of the routine and practice them with your child. At night, this can include doing homework, playing games, brushing teeth, taking a bath, and reading before bed.
- Promotion of independence
Children playing an active role in preparing for the start of the school year, choosing and organizing school supplies and new clothes – they are more likely to want to go back to school, which reduces their nervousness.
Is your child old enough to do chores like emptying the dishwasher or making lunch? Age-appropriate daily chores help your child gain independence and confidence.
- Choose the right backpack
Backpacks that are too heavy or worn incorrectly can lead to muscle tension, headaches, and neck pain. Try to choose a backpack made of sturdy, lightweight fabric with wide, padded shoulder straps that support your child’s shoulders.
Make sure they don’t throw it over your shoulder.
- Talk about safety
Check safety rules outside, for example, look both ways before crossing the street, take the same route every day when walking, be familiar with crosswalks, and be careful when talking to strangers.
- Establish healthy habits
Involve your children in choosing and preparing healthy meals and snacks. Help them find physical activities they enjoy. Take them shopping for healthy snacks and lunches; the link opens in a new window. you can let yourself go Try to stick to regular meal times.
- Limit screen time
Back to school is the perfect opportunity to reset screen time limits. Why not “turn off” the whole family at night before bed? Pick a place where everyone can charge their devices overnight. Use an alarm clock instead of a cell phone to wake up in the morning.
- Map it
When your children start at a new school, practice walking or driving to the bus stop or school building a week or two before school starts. You could even play in the schoolyard before school starts.
Create fun memories associated with school before the end of summer vacation.
- Talk about the nervousness of the first week
Reassure your child that it’s natural to be nervous, even for teachers. You can help your child deal with these feelings by:
- Let them express her fears. Maybe you can tell stories about your own nervousness the first day you were a child.
- Teach them to breathe deeply and slowly to calm their nerves.
- Discuss the scenarios that concern you. For example, if they are worried about who to sit with or talk to on their first day, help them plan a strategy and rehearse it so they know what to do.
- Celebrate the start of a new school year
When you celebrate the first day of school, your kids will see going back to school as a transition they can really enjoy. Throw a back-to-school party the night before school starts, complete with cake, balloons, and study favors.
And don’t forget to take a photo of the entry level in their enrollment outfits. It’s going to be a great year!