Aug 04, 2023
4 Tips on Making Back to School Successful
It's August, and time to get ready for school again. For some of you it's the first time you are taking your little one to school. You are taking your child to kindergarten, middle school, and/or high school. School has multiple transitions, so here are quick tips to get you to that first day of school:
- Get their sleep routine back on track for school wake up times. For those of you with teens, this is difficult, but make sure that they are practicing their school wake up time one to one and half weeks before school starts. They will fight you on it, but let them know that it will be easier to transition to school if they work on this. It's not the bedtime that has to be switched for teens; it's the wake up time. Adjust that first, and the bedtime will happen naturally. For those of you with 12 and younger, watch this vlog for detail.
- Get feeding time back to school routine. Make sure you are doing meal time like they would at school at least one and half weeks before school starts.
- For all little ones going to preschool and/or kindergarten for the first time, the Saturday before school starts do a dry run of drop off. It's a great way for children to understand what will be happening the following week. Pick one thing. Make the lunchbox together, dress with the uniform, put them in the car and drive to school. Then, laugh about it and get some ice cream. When you do a dry run with leisure, children will know what to expect on the first day of school and have the fun experience to guide them. This will help them when their brains get scared and anxious about doing this "school thing" for the first time. You can remind them you've already done it, and it was fun.
- Sit with their feelings. Try not to deny their experience and emotional response to going back to school. It is important to pause, hold your child, and tell them that it is normal to be scared and nervous. Take that opportunity to gently tell your child what you wish someone would tell you when you are about to embark on a major change.
“School is an opportunity for children to flex the muscle of the values of responsibility, integrity, and honesty. School helps them practice the social emotional skills of managing their impulses, delay of gratification and learning to be one of many.— Lina Acosta Sandaal, MA, LMFT
These are things to keep in mind about school:
- School and its responsibilities belong to your child. Making them work hard or study is not your responsibility. It’s less about making a child do anything, and more about teaching them the values needed to do the work and the tasks at school. School is an opportunity for children to flex the muscle of the values of responsibility, integrity, and honesty. School helps them practice the social emotional skills of managing their impulses, delay of gratification and learning to be one of many. If you attempt to force anyone to do anything against their will, they will eventually do what they want to do. By forcing a child you are inviting dishonesty from them towards you. This is because you have not taken the time to explain “why” the task is being asked of them. Take the time to teach your children your family’s values on responsibility and learning. Then, observe how they engage in them in their school day and assist as needed.
- If a few days or weeks into the year your child says they don't want to go to school because they feel left out, empathize with them. Let them know that you know it's hard, and that when things are hard, it makes us really not want to do them. Explain that since there’s no choice and they have to go to school, we have to find solutions. Then, ask them what they’ve tried, and wait for them to tell you before you give them your ideas.
If the above seems like too much or if you had a difficult school year last year, set up a parenting consult with me. I can give you individualized ideas and assistance to make sure this school year is easier and more successful for your family and your child. Click here to set that up.
Republished with permission from the original post on Stop Parenting Alone.