"You're off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way! Dr. Seuss
DRRRIIIIING!!! It’s time to go back to school…
Students of all ages are preparing for a new academic year, a new beginning and a new learning experience. After a nice vacation, full of playful activities and fun, this transition can be stressful and full of anxieties. But guess what? By reading this, you are now entering a stress free zone and getting ready to make “back to school” a happy, positive experience. If you are wondering how this can be, the 8 following tips are for you:
- First, it is time to implement earlier bedtimes: At least two weeks leading up to school, adjust bedtime and wake up times to the school schedule, and do it progressively, for you and your kids. It will help ease into the routine that you will be following for the rest of the academic year.
- Let your children declutter: Psychologists have long spoken of the connection between a messy environment and stress that many people experience. Your children need to declutter their room by organizing different items like papers, books, and school supplies and arrange them into boxes, files, shelves or drawers.
- Having fun while doing a school supplies shopping: One week before school starts, plan a trip with your children for hitting the stores to buy new school supplies. Make it an opportunity to have a nice day together by planning something fun after it.
- Help your children visualize their new classroom, anticipate new teachers and new friends: While it is a thrilling time for kids, most of them start to experience worries and uncertainty. Let them be excited about the new changes, be enthusiastic and confident. By creating mental images of how things are going to be, they are being able to prepare themselves for the reality of the situation.
- Acknowledge any insecurity: Encourage your children to open up about their concern. Take note of any anxious thoughts and discuss together of ways to ease the worries. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to be supportive and listen.
- Assess last year, remembering the good experiences: Replaying past happy moments can reduce stress and help benefiting from the occurrence of positive emotions that come with the good memories. Focus on that and remind your kids that they have the opportunity to create more happy memories this year.
- Prepare together: When you get your children involved in creating their own daily routine, they tend to stick to it. Allow them to pack their lunches and prepare their bags and clothes the night before. It is a great time to teach them responsibilities, as well as a way to connect.
- Last but not least, enjoy the last days of summer vacation by teaching them to be mindful: Don’t get me wrong! Yes it is important for kids to be well prepared for getting back to school, but it is equally important to enjoy last summer moments. Isn’t still summer after all? Teach them to focus on school only when making preparations.
By applying these simple and effective tips, your children will enjoy a memorable and healthy “back to school” time and will surely have so many exciting things to tell you about, later on. And remember, it is okay for children to experience some stress, because it is through the process of mastering stressful situations that your kids become more resilient. Being prepared and open ears and open arms equals a recipe for a successful “back to school” experience.
Youth, Parent and Family Coach