Ready or not, it’s back to school! With the end of summer comes new teachers, new books and supplies, and a new schedule for our kiddos. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be pretty overwhelming. Here are some ways to help your children with the transition of going back to school:
1) Check In With Them Emotionally
Often children have big feelings about new changes (such as returning to school), but they don’t quite have the words to articulate it, so parents can help coax things out of them. Asking things like, “what are you looking forward to about school?” can help them express their emotions. Without emphasizing the negative, be sure to also ask things like, “is there anything you’re nervous about?” so they can get those anxious feelings out and begin to work through them. Remember, the more you can help kids name their emotions, the more manageable those feelings become for them.
2) Set up Bedtime Rituals
Routines and rituals are so important for children to create a sense of consistency, and bedtime in particular is crucial. These little growing bodies and minds need their sleep! A good night’s rest sets the day for them to have the energy, strength, and enthusiasm to face the transition of the starting school year.
3) Don’t Burden Them With Your Own Stress
This one can be tricky for parents. The truth is that we as adults have a lot to think about when school begins again. Uniforms, sports teams, Back-to-School night, shopping for new supplies, etc., and it’s not hard to see how we can easily get overwhelmed. Be careful though, as our little ones are often more aware of our emotions than we may think. Remember that although no one is a “perfect” parent, we need to try to not burden then with our own feelings. If back-to-school stress has got you down, try to unload and process to a spouse or a friend instead.
How are YOU helping your kids transition back into school?