We have put together a few Back to School Helpful Hints for you
A new school year can be both exciting and unsettling! We have some helpful hints for you to help prepare your little ones for their first day at school or their first day with a new teacher or in a new classroom.
- Start to create a good sleep pattern after the relaxed routines and varied bedtimes of the summer. We suggest about 2 weeks before school starts to settle into the new routine well in time before the first day of school arrives.
- Plan a Back to School Shopping Day! Write a list together and head off on a special shopping trip. Let your kids choose some of their back to school essentials. Giving them choice and engaging them will see their confidence and excitement grow.
- The fear of the unknown is an important thing to remember at this time of year. You can help with this by making the unknown familiar. Take a tour of the school if possible. If not, take a walk to the school grounds or drive if that is how you need to get there. See it as a practice run and chat about the things you see on your journey, the positive aspects of going to school – seeing and making new friends, fun school activities and what their day will involve. By familiarising your little one with their school and new routine – they know what to expect and this knowledge dispels much of the fear of the unknown for them!
- Spend time with your children and keep the chats going . We tend to get extra busy ourselves at this time of year so it is important to stay engaged with your children. Let them know you understand their feelings. Kids can’t regulate worries & anxieties on their own – they need you to show them that it is normal and you are there to help and support them. Don’t dismiss their worries, instead reassure them and offer them practical solutions.
- Plan School Lunches! Keep it simple and healthy while also offering a choice to your child. ‘Would you like carrot sticks or apple slices today?’ Offering choice builds confidence and a sense of independence and control. Pop a little note in their lunch letting them know you are thinking of them during the day and making their time away from you feel a little less long!
- If you have a little one who is particularly anxious or upset about leaving you it can be a nice idea to give them something of yours to wear or take with them. It could be a little spray of your perfume/aftershave on their jumper sleeve, a pen or pencil you normally use at home, a hair tie or little key chain hooked inside their bag. Check in on them after school with a chat about how their day was – ask them to tell you something they liked about their day and be ready to listen if they have something they didn’t like! Let them know it’s ok but do focus on the positive.
- Not everything has to be about school! No need to overwhelm them – remember to talk about other things, reassuring them not everything will change. Chat about what to have for dinner, where to go after school, what activities they would like to do when school is out for the day.Let them look forward to what comes after school too!
Remember back to school might well be marketed as ‘My First day at School’ and ‘1st Day Back to School’ but it is far more than a single day – it’s a transition for our children and then it’s routine for much of their year so keep up the communication, the healthy sleep patterns, the positivity and support!