Back To School Woes
Summer is here and the living is easy. Then all of a sudden it’s not summer, it’s September and school is here. And not everyone is excited about it. Some kids may be downright nervous or even petrified. There are a few things you can do to help them cope with the transition.
Know that not all kids will be able to articulate what they’re feeling. If your child is having trouble sleeping, complaining of headaches or stomach aches, or is generally acting out, these could all be signs of anxiety about school beginning again.
Reinstate the schedule. Going from the carefree days of summer to the structure of September can be a rough transition for some kids. Focus particularly on getting good sleep and letting the clock guide more of your activities during the last week before school starts.
Talk them through it. Spend the last week of summer shifting into school mode. Start talking a bit about the new routines, what to expect, what to look forward to. If your child shares any specific anxieties (not having any friends in his class is a common one), don’t try to talk him out of his worries. Empathize a little, maybe share a story from your own childhood when you had a similar experience, and remind him of all the other times he was nervous or scared, but still pushed through and succeeded. Talk about what he can control in the situation, and create a plan for what he’ll do if the worst really does happen.
Keep your cool. If the first day jitters are really hitting your child hard, she’ll be looking to you for reassurance. Stay calm yourself, and focus on the positive and what she can control in her day. Assume this will be fantastic year for her and remind her of all the great stuff she has to look forward to during her day. Maybe tuck a little love note into her lunch (I’m so in love with these free downloads!)
Be prepared to celebrate! At the end of the day, acknowledge efforts and bravery. Letting your children know that you see their challenges and you see them working hard to overcome them, gives them a boost that promotes their confidence and sense of capability.