Welcome in the New School Year
Heading into the great unknown—or, in this case, a new school year—can be challenging for children and parents alike. Luckily, there are methods to make the transition easier, maybe even enjoyable. Let’s round up some ideas that are sure to put a less bluesy spin on the back-to-school experience.
1. End of Summer Tradition
It’s hard to feel down at a time of year with so many enticing attractions. While the end of summer may trigger back to school anxiety, you can offset any negative thoughts with positive planning. Try devoting some prime time to special summer events like a picnic or a beach day before the startup of school as a great way to keep you and your family in high spirits.
2. Back in a Routine
Bedtimes and breakfast hours are the secret to this suggestion. Introducing your child and family to a more regimented schedule a few weeks early is a great way to ease into school time. This can be done simply by making bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night before school week. Everyone is less likely to be cranky the first week if they’ve already adjusted to the new time schedule and are well on their way to a daily routine.
3. Sell the Changes
Perspective is king, and while your child may only see all he or she is losing with summer’s end, it’s up to you to show them what’s to be gained. Meeting new friends and enjoying exciting electives or studies are a few examples of how to put that positive spin on a new school year. Whatever their interests may be (ie. art, writing, biology), there are sure to be classes where they can satisfy their curiosity and explore new frontiers, so now’s the time to drive that benefit home.
Keeping an open dialogue before and after the start of school goes a long way towards a happier transition for you and your child. Being a good listener, even after a long workday, gives you the opportunity to ferret out any issues your child may be having (which can lead to bigger problems later in the year).
5. Give Yourself a Break
While your child may be struggling with back to school anxiety, don’t forget to address your frustrations or stress. Whether it’s back-to-school financial strains, a wistful sense of time flying, or a hint of the empty nest syndrome, don’t ignore your emotions. Budget your shopping sprees, stay involved with your child through their school day experiences, and make sure you have plenty of things to keep you busy (personal rewards as well as obligations) when your child is off at school. If you keep these tips in mind, this time of year will pass quickly, transforming itself into a growing appreciation for the progress your child is making toward a bright and fulfilling future.