4 tips to ease your child's transition back to school.
This time of year sees children going back to school, with day care following a few weeks later.
I have already spoken to parents whose children are exhibiting signs of anxiety about the new term ahead. Be it being more clingy, sleep disruption or regression in toilet training – what can parents do to help ease the transition back to school?
Here are a few ideas that I have seen work really well – I hope that they can help you too!
1. A Gradual Transition:
It is important for children of all ages to be aware of when they will be going back to school or daycare. Expecting them to be droppped off in the morning with no warning can cause more issues.
It is a good idea to talk about what is going to happen when they are there in a generic way, such as who their teachers are, which friends they will see, and what activities they will be taking part. This is a great way to readjust their minds to thinking about transitioning back to school.
2. Good Morning Routines:
In most homes, the pre-school rush is a stressful part of the day. Not everyone is a morning person and generally mum ends up doing everyone's pre school preparation for them.
One idea is for each child to have an age appropriate check list of their own for the morning, of things they know are their responsibility. Some examples could be brushing teeth or eating breakfast. One thing that can help to de-stress the mornings is to take care of whatever you can the night before. This can include preparing lunches for the next day, or having clothes or uniforms out and ready to go.
3. Be As Involved As Possible Without Interfering:
During holiday time, the majority of parents are far more involved in where their children are each minute of the day, who they are with, what activities they are involved with, and even their latest interests.
During school time though, between drop off and pick up, it is easy to feel disconnected from what is happening minute to minute. It is a good idea to find ways to enter your child's school world and understand what they are doing there. Ask about their day, their friends and their teachers. Use open ended questions that can't be answered with a yes or no.
No matter how old your child is, many appreciate your interest in their homework or projects. For your younger ones, make the time to read with them and when they are older, ask them about their projects and if you can read it for them. This is a great opportunity for bonding and praise.
4. Time To Process:
Many parents find that during school time, sleep patterns, dinner time routines and even children's behaviour can vary. This is especially true at the beginning of term, when children are more tired and parents are trying to adjust back to school hours.
Despite this, it is important to factor into your evening routines a chance for your children to talk about their day, such as what they enjoyed, who they hung out with or what the teacher said. If there is something particularly exciting or different happening the next day, it is worth talking that through as well.
Finding time to process can be tricky, but without it, many children are waking up in the middle of the night to do just that. Use the opportunities presented at dinnertime, bath time, bedtime or even homework time to have these conversations.
Hope the transition is smooth and kids settle into a wonderful term ahead!
When my daughter started daycare, I spent a lot of time trying to find the right fit for her and our family. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. Over and over again though, the answer to my question would come back the same, "she'll be fine."