It’s already that time of year! Summer fun has been had over the past 6 weeks, and now we’re fully in back- to – school mode. This can be a challenging time of year for children and adults alike! Transitions can be tricky for many children as is settling back into a routine and much needed consistency. As they readjust to their school routine, your child is likely to experience a wide range of emotions. It is important to remember that these usually start to calm once they know what to expect and they recall what their daily routine feels like.
Here are some of our favourite tried and tested ways for getting the kids ready to return to school, as well as some strategies you can try out if they’re feeling some big emotions as they get ready for their return.
Back to school items checklist
Getting everything ready in the days leading up to school starting back is essential for a stress-free first morning back. No doubt all of your back-to-school shopping has been done and all of your child’s clothes are ready to go! Don’t forget these essential items, and try to prep a day or two ahead. You can even get your child involved in the process if they like! If your child is excited, they might like to help pack their bag, and if they’re feeling anxious it might help calm their nerves.
- Uniform (make sure their names are on their clothes!)
- P.E. Kit/gym bag
- School bag
- Pencil case
- Water bottle
- Lunch bag (if taking a packed lunch; if not, make sure they know what their lunch options will be on their first day back)
- Hand sanitiser
- Small comfort item
If you have a young child starting school, a small comfort item might be a great help to them. This could be a small teddy or blanket, or a small fidget toy. Your child might not always be allowed to have this in class with them, but often even having it with them in their bag can be a great comfort.
Helping your child deal with their emotions before going back to school
Your child may be feeling excited in the anticipation of beginning the new school year! If this is the case, they’re probably counting down the sleeps to their return.
In other cases, your child may go back and forth between feeling excited and anxious, or outright worried about returning to school. These are all completely normal ways for your child to be feeling.
Here are a few good ways to help your child relax and hopefully feel less anxious about their return to school:
1) Talk to them about it
It can be easy to simply tell your child they have nothing to worry about and that everything will be fine, but if they don’t feel heard, they won’t learn to start dealing with and accepting their emotions as they continue with their education. Try not to dwell on the negative here, but simply ask them what they’re worried about so you can speak to them about their anxieties. This often brings up, what feels to us, simple issues which we can help them brainstorm solutions for. Once you talk things over with your child, while thinking of possible solutions to what they fear, they will feel more prepared to deal with these on their own and will know they have a strong support system to fall back on.
2) Show them how exciting it can be!
Your child picks up on all of your emotions whether they realise it or not. Instead of asking them often if they’re worried about school or what they’re scared about, speak about their return to school in a positive light! Be excited for the change and speak to them about all of the fun things they will get to do and learn at school, how excited their teacher must be to see them, and how great it will be to see all of their friends again. This will help them view their return to school in a more positive way.
3) Remind them of their routine
It can be good to get back in your usual evening/morning routine for a bit before school starts. Often summer brings many later nights and longer lie-ins in the mornings, which won’t be possible once school starts. If you can, start to shift bedtimes and wakeups more in line with what they would be once in your school routine, before school starts. You can also speak to your child about their day-to-day life in school to remind them of some of the activities they do there, when they get their snack/lunch time, who picks them up after school and their usual after-school routine.
4) Let it out!
Movement and fresh air can be brilliant for helping to ease your child’s anxiety. Making sure your child is spending lots of time playing creatively, playing outside, and moving, will help them deal with their big emotions. We love this video from Cosmic Kids Yoga which helps with some simple movements and techniques your child might like to try to help them calm their nerves!
Getting ready to go back to school
Starting school or heading back to school is one of the biggest events in your child’s life every year and after 6 weeks off, it’s completely normal for them to be feeling a range of emotions. We hope this back-to-school checklist and suggestions around how to help them deal with their emotions has helped!
If you feel your child is struggling with their learning and this is part of what is causing their anxieties around school, please do book a free enquiry call with us. We would be happy to talk about your child’s needs and what we can do here to help at LS Tuition.