This summer feels like it has flown by and here we are on the eve of back to school for many schools throughout the province. This can be a fun and exciting time (maybe more so for parents), but can also feel really stressful and chaotic. Check out these tips to help your child transition back into school and manage the nerves.
- Do realize that some anxiousness is normal. There are a lot of unknowns for kids going back to school. You can help prep them by giving them as much information ahead of time as possible. Practice walking to school before the first day, meet the teacher ahead of time (if possible), or connect them with friends or neighbors to meet up with prior to getting to school.
- Establish a routine. If bedtimes and meal times have been a bit lazy over the summer, bring them back. Set up homework time and a comfortable and organized homework area. Try getting things ready the night before to ease morning chaos. Play around with different routines that work for your family and your child. Routines give kids structure and familiarity and can help ease nerves during stressful times.
- Listen to and validate your child’s worries. It is okay if they are anxious and as a parent it is your job to help them deal with that anxiousness, not necessarily fix it. Let them share their worries and ask how you can help. Come up with different activities that can help your child self sooth (ie. Reading, journaling, coloring or drawing, doing a puzzle, having a hot beverage, going for a walk).
- Give them some time. It will take a couple of weeks to get back into the groove so don’t be alarmed if your child is taking some time to settle in.
If your child does not seem like him or herself for an extended amount of time, talk to them about how they are feeling. Reach out to the school to get their opinion on how your child is adjusting. If you have concerns that this is more than just back to school anxiousness, get connected with school supports, like a school counsellor, and check in with their family Dr. to rule out any medical concerns.