Even though there are plenty of those back to school tips to go around, in an attempt to fit in the crowd, we selected the most applicable child friendly strategies to ease a not-so-easy transition.
Sneak in bed-times
We all agree that an earlier bedtime in necessary to get a head start the next day. But jumping from a 10 pm to a 8pm bedtime in one night is not so pleasant and bound to end up in tears. Instead, take it 10 minutes (or more) at a time and starting earlier than the day before school starts.
Go from 10pm to 9:45pm for a few days, 9:45pm to 9:30pm the following days…until you get to your 8pm bedtime slowly, but surely.
Create extra hype around back-to-school week
We talked about pairing in previous post, and this concept is applicable to school days as well. Refresher: Pairing means associating a preferred item or activity with a less preferred items or activity. For example, if the kids are already dreading going back to school, help them associate it with happy things like a new backpack, a special back-to-school outfit, or an exceptional back-to-school weekend activity to make it more fun.
Plan ahead with your child for an ice-cream outing or playdate with a few of their favorite new classmates the first weekend of school.
Brace Yourself for Separation Anxiety
Even if your successfully overcame the Separation Anxiety Tantrum last year (for both you and baby), don’t be surprised or worried if it comes back the first days of school again. After all, you spent the summer together and the kiddo thought this whole nightmare was over forever! Get a head start at start to slowly fade out your presence from some daily activities where applicable.
Application: Add some alone time for kiddo during playtime when possible.
Consider Homework Early On
Typically, no school starts off the year giving heaps of homework, but by the end of the first month, we find ourselves struggling to get kiddos into the routine of finishing homework. The trick here is to plan from day 1 for at least 15 mins of homework time into the after-school schedule. Even if nothing was assigned, getting into the routine and consistency of homework time using some fun (and easy) activity books will make the transition easier for both Mommy and Kiddo.
From day 1, sit down with you child after lunch (or whenever feasible) for “Homework Time” and finish 1 page of coloring, tracing, or even basic maths. The next week you’ll find sitting down for actual school work much easier.
Conversation is a Habit
The next few weeks are going to be filled with new encounters, new friends, teachers, classrooms and experiences for your kiddo. He/She will have plenty of thoughts and concerns that are not always easy to communicate. Start a week before school by asking questions and igniting a conversation about friends, teachers and anything that might be of concern to your kiddo. This will be followed up when school starts with steady conversations.
Application: Ask your kiddo what they’re most excited about for the coming year, or what they’re most concerned about. Follow up with these expectations a week after school begins