Getting Your Child Ready for the Back to School Change
For some kids, going back to school is a stressful time full of change and anxiety. Whether they spent their summer following a schedule or simply having fun with their family, they knew what to expect from day to day. Now, that is all about to change.
If your child is feeling overwhelmed with the idea of going back to school this fall, here are a few ways you can help make the transition smooth and positive. Read on to learn how to help students who struggle with change on the first day of school.
Talk About School Everyday
About halfway through the school vacation, make it a point to talk about the upcoming school year everyday. There are so many different topics that can lead into this upcoming change. For example, bring up back-to-school shopping trips, the friends your child will see and topics that relate to their favorite school subject. From here, you can talk about feelings. Ask your child how they feel about going back to school. Are they nervous? Excited? Tell stories about one or more of your own first days of school. Encourage your child to ask questions about the upcoming change. The idea is to make the change seem so familiar that it will happen with ease.
Prepare a Routine
Before school starts, come up with a routine you and your child can follow for every school morning. For example, encourage your child to pick out their school clothes the night before and involve your child in making their lunch and any other activities that will soothe them during the transition. Start the routine a few days before school starts so you and your child can "practice."
Invite Friends Over
Before school starts, make it a point to invite your child's friends and parents from school over. Bring up the topic of the first day of school and talk about it as a group. Your child will realize they aren't the only one who has a hard time dealing with change. Their friends might, too. Or they might just pass along their infectious excitement for the upcoming school year. Either way, your child will know they have familiar faces to lean on that first day of school.
It's OK to Be Nervous
When the first day of school arrives, let your child know it is normal to be nervous and excited at the same time. All the kids are feeling the same way. In fact, even the teacher is feeling nervous about the big change! She has a whole classroom full of new students to get to know!