As summer winds down, some kids feel excited about school coming up and some feel anxious, but all kids sense that a shift in routine is coming, and that can bring up some big emotions. The good news is that, as a parent, there are some things you can do to help your children manage these emotions and get ready for back to school!
Start Talking About School
Begin discussing school earlier in the summer, especially if it’s your child’s first year! Talk about what a school day might look like, how they will get to and from school, and emphasize how fun learning new things and making new friends will be.
Check Out the School
Drive by your child's school. If you’re able to, stop by and play on the playground or park in the parking lot as you will when the school year starts. Or, if your child will be taking the bus, point out where the bus may drop them off and where the front doors of the school are.
Practice Getting Ready
Make a fun game of picking out a “school outfit” on a summer night, going to bed, setting an alarm, and getting up and ready like they will for school. Packing a lunch, reading a story about school, talking about your own memories of school, or even walking to the bus stop can all be a part of this make believe game. Base it off of what your real school mornings will look like!
Take Time to Connect
On the morning of the first day of school, your child may feel excited, scared, anxious, nervous, happy, or any combination of these emotions. While things may feel hectic, take a few moments to connect with your child, to remind them of qualities you love about them that will help them feel successful in school (i.e. you’re such a great friend, you always listen to others, you’re so kind!) Take a moment to breathe with your child.
It’s time to send them off to school! You’ve given your child the tools they need to succeed, see them off to school safely and take some time to adjust yourself to this change in routine too. Parents and caregivers are going through a change this time of year as well!