A ‘Back to School’ Guide for Parents
As September is quickly rolling around, parents and children are preparing for the busy back to school season! With every school year, there’s always apprehension from kids to get back into a routine but it’s not uncommon for parents to be feeling some anxiety as well. Fortunately we’ve compiled a ‘back to school’ guide to unburden some of that stress and make things a little easier to navigate!
Prepare your child for what’s ahead: It’s understandable why some parents may be feeling apprehensive about a September return to school for students. But rather than bristle in your anxieties, do your best to prepare your child for their return to the classroom. Remember that every new school year offers development to your child. They will learn new things and meet new people, and this will directly contribute to well-rounding them for the future! You can do your part in preparing them for what’s to come by having a discussion with your children about school rules and regulations, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by a change in authority. Better yet, arrange a tour and meet-and-greet with your child’s teacher ahead of class. This way your child can see the classroom, and be walked through what to expect for the day. If you receive a class list, connect with the parents of other classmates and arrange for your children to meet before school begins. This makes it easier for your child to enter class confidently and with a new friend by their side already!
Get back into routine: Sleeping in and staying up late is a perk every child loves to take advantage of during summer vacation. With back to school only a few short weeks away, now is the best time to start re-establishing your child’s regular sleeping schedule. This means reasonable bedtimes and earlier mornings. Try easing your child back into the routine by building in activities that will help them unwind for the evening, like a bath or story time right before bed. Also start earlier mornings with breakfast together and maybe a trip to the park to get them excited to begin their day.
Start shopping and getting organized: Make it a fun outing, and purchase school supplies together with your child. By having them pick out outfits they feel confident in, they will also walk into the classroom feeling more confident.Go into shopping with a plan of action and a list of supplies you need to keep your child organized. Have your child pick out their backpack, binders, notebooks, etc, this adds an element of individualism, fun and creativity to the tedium of school and builds up the excitement of starting a new school year. Establish a designated simple system for each subject, whether that is individual binders for each subject’s notes and handouts, or one large binder with colour coded dividing tabs. Purchase an organized backpack with plenty of compartments and room for a computer, binders and notebooks, pencil case and other supplies. Also familiarize yourself and your children with any online resources the school may be utilizing before they begin classes.
Validate your child’s worries and reassure them: It’s important going into the new school year that your child feels supported emotionally. Take time before your child’s first day to acknowledge how they’re feeling and reassure them that their feelings are valid. Inform them that they have support at all angles, from you at home and from teachers in the classroom. Knowing they have someone to turn to when they are feeling anxious will help ease some of their fears and make it easier for them to assimilate to all the changes.
Encourage healthy choices: Involve your children in some way in the decision-making when it comes to choosing healthy packed lunches and snacks. Giving your child more freedom to make their own decisions is an excellent way to encourage their independence going into a new school year.
Make it an event: Getting your child eager to get back to school can be hard, so why not make it an event to get them excited about their return. Try hosting a back to school party for your children and their friends with fun games and prizes that encourage educational play! You can also go more low-key with your celebrations and do a family night out with a movie and dinner!
The back to school season doesn’t have to be a stressful. It’s all a matter of tackling the steps listed above and giving your child the confidence they need to face this new school year with ease!