Back to school time can yield a wide range of emotions in kids, from nervous excitement to anxiety or dread and literally everything in between. But whether kids are excited or nervous about their return to school, it is definitely true that this transition will be much smoother if it is well prepared for. Kids tend to mimic how their parents feel, and if they watch their parents calmly and confidently plan ahead for a great start of term, they will usually approach school with the same calm confidence.
A Smooth Back to School For Kids
There are many wonderful ways that parents can prepare themselves and their children for a smooth transition back to school. Following are five of the easiest and most important ways:
1. Find out well in advance what the school requires children to have–both as regards dress code and school supplies. Some schools have uniforms, while others have dress codes. It is helpful to know in advance what the dress code is so that you don’t make any clothing purchases that will need to be returned. Supply lists can also help to eliminate any confusion about what may or may not be needed, and will prevent you from having to make stressful, last-minute shopping trips.
2. If possible, visit the school prior to the first day of class. It can be helpful to walk around the campus, becoming familiar with where everything is. A great portion of back-to-school anxiety that children can feel has to do with not knowing where things are or feeling out of touch with a school they haven’t been at for anywhere between one to three months. Walking around a quiet, calm campus can help to alleviate this anxiety. It can be even better to go with friends who are also in the same school or same class.
3. Start putting your child to bed earlier at least one week prior to the first day of school. Children normally do best if they receive at least ten hours of sleep each night, especially when they are involved in mentally stimulating activities. By getting them established on a stable evening bedtime routine that allows for plenty of sleep, you will help them to cope with the challenges they experience as they move through the first few weeks of school.
4. Help your child learn and apply basic safety points. You should definitely take the time to make sure that your child understands traffic safety and physical safety, especially if they will be walking or taking a bus to school. It is also important to cover basics such as how to spell their name, how to recite their parents’ phone numbers, and who they should go to at school if they feel they need help with anything.
5. Talk to your child about their return to school. Having an open and honest conversation with your child about their return to school can help them to better understand what to expect. It can also be a wonderful opportunity to allow your child a safe place to share what they may be nervous or anxious about so that you can address and resolve these concerns.
Many schools have a sort of parents back to school checklist or resource guide to help parents plan ahead and prepare themselves and their children for a smooth transition. The most important thing is to convey to children the wonderful excitement of returning to school and help them to dispense with any fears or anxiety they may be feeling. This can largely be accomplished with good preparation and plenty of opportunities to discuss what experiences they should expect to have.