Have the back-to-school blues left you or the kids feeling a little down?
It is often difficult to say goodbye to summer, and get into the bustle of a new school year. There are a few things you can do to help alleviate these feelings, and transition smoothly back into the busy school days.
Nerves and butterflies
Back to school time can be exciting and scary all at the same time. Make allowances for your child if they experience these issues. Compare what your child is feeling to the same feelings you experienced when starting a new job. Talk with your children and let them freely explain what and how they are feeling. Sometimes just talking about worries or fears helps put them in perspective.
This does not mean you should tolerate negative behaviors like back talk or disrespect. Even excited or nervous children should remember good manners and consideration for others. Reassure your child that school can be exciting and fun whether they are returning or starting school for the first time. Frazzled or harried parents need to find time to listen to their children, really listen.
Set and maintain consistency
A couple of weeks before school starts, start easing your child into what will become their school day routine. This is particularly important for the young ones entering school for the first time. No matter what age your child is, start by setting regularly scheduled bedtime. Since children may have to rise earlier in the morning, it is very important that they get their proper rest. A well- rested child will have a much easier time coping with change. Consistency should be maintained for homework, bath time and other regular activities. Children benefit greatly from routines and a structured environment.
The morning routine
As any parent knows, a little preplanning can go a long way in making school day morning less hectic. Assemble all required school supplies and lay out the clothes they will wear the night before. This will save valuable time in the morning. If you begin to make this a regular habit right from the first day of kindergarten, it will serve them well for years to come. Lunches can be prepared the night before as well to save even more time. All children, no matter what their ages, can participate in these chores. Peaceful calm mornings set the mood for the entire day, for adults and children both.
The importance of breakfast cannot be emphasized strongly enough. If you have relaxed your mealtime schedules during the summer, now is the time to get back in a regular routine. Proper rest and good nutrition are two of the strongest tools you can give to your children. This is also a great time for mom to pay more attention to her own rest and nutrition. Disorganized and stressful mornings do not send your child off in a very good frame of mind. A tired child can be cranky and inattentive, which is not the ideal way for anyone to start the day.
Even young children should participate in gathering up school supplies, packing lunches, and laying out the next day’s outfit. Doing it all for them robs them of the opportunity to learn responsibility and the importance of strategic planning skills. Being a super-mom does not necessarily result in super-kids.
If you or your child are experiencing back to school blues, try to keep a positive frame of mind. Consider that right now, school is your child’s job. Remember that children are extremely adept at picking up your negative moods and behaviors. Staying positive and setting routines will ease you both through the process.