How to ease back to school nerves
There are many techniques for dealing with looming events. The most important is maintaining the illusion of consistency and routine.
Continue School-Year Routines Throughout The Summer
There is no reason why reading, writing, and arithmetic have to stop just because the kids are not sitting in a classroom. There are an unbelievable amount of on-line resources for parents who believe that brains should not go on hiatus just because the sun has come out. We’re not talking about planting them at a desk and burying your child’s face in a stack of textbooks. Opportunities to continue with and reinforce school curriculum are everywhere.
Plan The Summer On a Calender
If you don’t already have one invest in a mommy calendar. This is basically a huge sheet of paper where each day can be designated for particular learning opportunities, outings, field trips, special events, etc. Schedule each day and make sure that the kids are involved in the planning. Mondays can be computer time, Tuesdays can be arts and crafts, Wednesdays can be music, Thursdays are for sports and Fridays are for puzzles or other games.
As long as the kids believe there is a schedule they aren’t going to be too fussy about straying from it. However, when you need to, you can always hold the supposed structure over their heads to get them to fall back in line.
Arrange A Get Together Or Four With School Friends
Make no mistake, school is as much about their relationships as it is about numbers and ABC’s. Not seeing their buddies for a couple of months will lead to many nervous feelings. Will their friends still be their friends? A lot can happen over a summer and anybody, even kids can grow apart. Maintaining key relationships will go a long way to boosting back-to-school confidence.
Visit the School
Take walks past the school. If there is a playground nearby make sure to go there once or twice so the trip to the building won’t be such a big deal. If it is not walking distance then by all means drive there. The point is to be within physical distance of it.
Forget Back-To-School Shopping
Marketers love to hype up back-to-school shopping. But, if you want to reduce the amount of adjustment required reduce the stress of shopping. Take advantage of sales when they come up throughout the year and buy stuff when you need them. Why wait for “back-to-school” time to buy a pair of jeans and a bunch of t-shirts?
Focus On Family
The truth is that no matter what, the school year does change how the family functions. So, when summer does come to an end, end it with a bang! Go on that family vacation, make a big deal. Finally, when the first day of school has come and gone make sure to do a “See, it was no big deal” dinner and a movie the first chance you get. That way, next year you’ll be able to say: “Remember last year? Everything was okay then, and it will be okay this time, too.”
Tell them that you love them!
Finally, and most importantly, keep the lines of communication open. If they are stressing about going back to school, maybe there is a legitimate reason you need to address. Let’s face it bullying is on the rise and so are the entry requirements for post-secondary education. If they are worried that they won’t be able to keep up with the work load or won’t do well enough make sure that they know what your expectations are and what you are willing to do to help them meet their goals. It won’t be so scary if they know they’re not in it alone.