After a break, it’s completely normal for children to have some jitters about going back to school. However, it also means they get to have a blast with their friends and make new pals along the way. And let’s not forget that heading back to school brings loads of learning opportunities and valuable interactions with their teachers.
Guess what? It’s not just the children who feel those butterflies in their stomachs. Parents often share concerns about whether their child’s truly prepared for the return to school. No worries, though! There are things you can do to ease those worries and help your one smoothly transition from vacation mode into school mode.
5 Tips to Help Your Child Ready for Back to School
Let’s jump straight into actionable tips to help your child get ready for back to school:
1. Fix the Sleep Schedule
One of the challenges when it comes to going to school is getting your child’s sleep routine back on track. During the holidays, children commonly develop sleep patterns like staying up and waking up late.
So the first step is to re-establish a sleep schedule of going to bed and waking up early. It’s generally recommended to start working on this routine at least 1-2 weeks before school begins. In the evenings, you can try strategies to help your child relax and unwind before bedtime, such as reading a book or having a bath.
Here’s a quick list of some more tips to fix the child’s sleep schedule:
- Trim down the screen time gradually to only 1 hour per day (if they are 2-5 years old). But if they are under 2 years old, they should have zero screen time unless it is for chatting with family/friends. Also, enforce a rule of no screen time at least 30 minutes – 1 hour before bed. This will allow them to unwind and sleep early (and wake up early).
- Children love sugary treats, but you might want to revisit that as it can prove to be a hindrance to sleep. That’s why it is best to cut down on sugary treats at least 1-2 hours before bed. Even in general, it is best to steer clear of artificially sweetened products and focus more on fruits!
- Establish a bedtime routine to add consistency to their sleep schedule. It can be bedtime story reading or just talking with the child about their day.
2. Back-To-School Shopping
Back-to-school shopping can be a fun way to alleviate some of that anxiety & prepare the child for school. Start by making a list of school supplies and remember to also involve the child. This will give them a sense of involvement and help them feel excitement for the big day.
Once the list is ready, go and buy the school supplies from the store along with your child. If the budget allows, also allow the child to pick out some school suppliers they like to enhance the excitement further. It can be a set of crayons, a superhero-themed bag, or anything they like.
These occasional splurges during back-to-school shopping will add a positive spin and reduce some of the nerve-inducing feelings of the child.
And before you know it, the child will look forward to going back to school feeling all excited rather than anxious or worried.
3. Be Positive
A study conducted in 2020 shows that children pick up stress & other emotions from their parents. So if you’re feeling worried about your child going to school, it’s likely that they might be feeling that way too.
As parents, it’s only natural for us to have concerns about our children returning to school; there’s nothing about that. However, it’s important to keep these worries to ourselves and show enthusiasm and happiness when we talk to our child about it.
You can mention all the things they can look forward to at school, like meeting friends, engaging in fun activities, having playtime, and enjoying their subjects.
This positivity through words and actions will also translate into the child and help them be excited about returning to school.
4. Visit the School
Attending the open house or back-to-school night hosted by the school can be a great way to break the ice. Doing so will allow the child to become acquainted with the overall school environment & experience how it will feel when they return to school.
Remember to see the classroom, meet teachers, and tour all the other areas during the school visit. If possible, also allow them to interact with other students.
One of the biggest ice-breakers is to meet the teacher during the school’s visit. This will calm any jitters the child may experience during the first school day after a holiday. But if the teacher is unavailable for a meeting, you can also find their picture in the school’s yearbook. The idea behind this activity is to put a face and name for the teacher.
5. Keep Them in the Loop
From holidays to going back to school can be a sudden change for the children. And it is a known fact that children don’t like sudden change and are usually afraid of things they don’t know about.
A simple way to minimize some anxiety associated with returning to school is to keep them in the loop. Keep them informed on the following:
- When they will be back to school.
- How they will get to school.
- What they will do after school.
- What the school routine will look like.
- How many days are left in the holidays? (keep informing them to remove any surprises)
And so on…
Basically, you should aim to remove any surprises associated with going back to school. So when the time comes, it will not be a sudden change for them and thus will help them prepare for what’s ahead.
Let’s Tackle ‘Back To School 2023’
The term “returning to school” can bring up feelings in children ranging from nervousness to anticipation of all the things that await them!
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to prepare them for what they can anticipate when they return to school. By utilizing the tips for transitioning from vacation mode to school mode mentioned on this page, you can make the adjustment much smoother for them!