Yes, school is starting up again! There are probably many mixed emotions. Maybe some of you are sending your first kindergartner to school, or maybe this will be the first year that all your kids are in school for the whole day! Whatever your circumstance may be, it is important to begin to prepare your child for their inevitable return to school.
Ways to Prepare Your Child
-A week or two before school starts, get your child back on to their school-sleeping schedule. Wake them up at the time they would have to get up for school, begin to go over morning routines (clothes, brushing teeth, eating breakfast) in a timely fashion.
-Have down time during the day in small intervals where your child is working on completing a task (art project, journal entry, reading or listening to a book). This will prepare them for times where they are going to be asked to sit and not to be active.
-Begin to have conversations about the school year and how exciting it is going to be (Your attitude about school will directly affect your child, so think and be positive). Have many open conversations about their feelings about the first day of school. Address any concerns they might have. Common concerns among kids are: “Is my teacher nice?” “Will I know anyone?” “What if no one likes me?” “What if I have to go to the bathroom?” “How do I get school lunch?” The list continues, open up the line of communication now, so if anything happens in the school year they know you are willing to listen and help them come up with creative solutions.
- Talk about how to make a new friend. It is best to role play!
-Have a bedtime routine established and follow through on a consistent bedtime.
If your child is anxious about leaving you, the following books come in handy.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Both stories deal with a child being separated from their loved ones, but with the reassuring message of being connected all day through “an invisible string” or a “kissing hand,” is sometimes all it takes to ease your child’s anxiety about being away from you during the day. (It might good for both of you!)