It’s that time of year again when the magical summer holidays are almost over and the back to school season is upon us. Going back to a new academic school term or in fact a new school can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time. At this moment in time, more than ever, it’s important to be gentle with their emotions, listen to and help them express their fears and focus on all the positives of being back into a regular school routine and learning experience. It’s completely normal for your kids to be anxious about going back to school. We have all been through the process as well so be there to guide and support them.
Getting Ready To Start The New School Semester
Whether your summer was jam-packed with activities or with complaints about being bored with nothing to do, kids often have a tough time making the back-to-school transition. That’s why we’ve put together these five easy top tips that will hopefully make it easier for your kiddos to get back into school-mode.
Focus On The Positives
Be sure to remind your kids the positive things about going back to school, such as hanging out with old friends and meeting new classmates, buying cool school supplies and getting involved in sports and learning new activities.
Research studies have shown that kids today are experiencing higher rates of anxiety and depression which can lead to low self-esteem and loss of motivation. In a busy day there is the tendency to put more value on a child’s IQ than their EQ. Teaching emotional intelligence and learning how too positively manage your emotions is an important life skill to nurture.
Be a great mentor and teach and show your kids first-hand the benefits of mindfulness, positive thinking and healthy coping skills. When kids see their parents managing their emotions effectively, naturally they want to copy what they see. This will reflect not only in their daily school lives but in their overall learning abilities and experiences. Positive affirmations are great for helping teach kids to change negative thoughts into positive ones. This in turn can help influence feelings of self-worth, increase motivation, and lead to greater satisfaction in life.
A great back to school activity can be to choose, print off and sort through their own set of affirmation cards. Kids Happy offer a great set of free printable affirmation cards for kids.
Get A Good Nights Sleep
Summer, with its lack of a routine, can mess up kids’ schedules so establish a reasonable bedtime so they’ll be well-rested and ready in the morning for school. The big debate is “How much sleep do kids actually need?”
Now, more than ever as we move back into the new school semester after what feels like the longest summer holidays ever, is a good time to set those sleep ground rules. Once back into their regular school routines, children’s sleep starts to settle into a more regular pattern again so they are ready for their school days ahead.
Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of The Day
Studies show that students who eat a good breakfast packed with those all important super foods kids need for super powers tend to be more alert and do better in school. Their breakfast gives them their fuel to start the day. From personal experience, if I didn’t eat a good breakfast in the morning, I used to feel sluggish and could not concentrate that well in class.
Organisation is your best friend for reducing anxiety and making the most of any situation. It’s so important to teach your kids how to organize. This includes setting out what they need the night before (uniform, homework, books, water bottle, hat, etc.) to save time in the morning and make the early morning less stressful for you and your children. We’ve created two fun online checklists, one for primary kids and one for older secondary kids to do themselves and feel empowered about being ready for going back to school.
I’m sure many parents can re-call that mad panic feeling trying to desperately find a pencil case or sports shirt with stressed tearful kids tugging at your leg worried about being late for the first day at school. I always found a quick check-in with the kids the night before school was vital to make sure all essential items were packed and ready for the big day. The kids would then always choose their favourite back to school book to remind them that this happens every year and is an exciting part of their school journey. As the kids get older it’s a great life skill to let them to be in charge of laying out their uniforms, making sure their sports bags and school supplies are ready, plus it gets them into the habit of being responsible for their own things.
How many times as a parent do you rush to school with something your kids have forgot? Whether it is a lunch box, a school trip form or a water bottle for sports day, we have all been there. But, as they get older remember that learning to be responsible and fail is an all important like skill to ensure they learn the lesson and don’t repeat the mistake. Yes, you may feel like THAT bad parent who doesn’t rush to their kids rescue with the sunhat, but if you want an independent child rather than a totally dependent kid, let them fail once in a while. Trust me, they will soon learn to organise themselves very quickly!
Make A Calendar
A wall calendar or school schedule is every parents staple piece of fridge artwork so everyone in the family can see important dates, teacher conference dates, after school activity schedules and those most important holidays and long weekend dates.
It’s always helpful to have a visual reminder to stay on top of the busy school year. Over the years I’m not sure how I would have kept track of the busy activity schedules and birthday parties for all my kids without my handy weekly planner. As kids get older a good idea is to ask them to print off and laminate both their individual class schedules and a copy of the school calendar for them to keep somewhere in their room. This creates good learning habits for being prepared and the skill of pro-active vs re-active!
Let’s be brutally honest we are all rubbish at reading the complicated online school schedules so avoid the chaos keep a schedule!