Are you ready for the new school year?
Preparing for the new academic year can be fun but for thousands of children going back to school is quite daunting for so many reasons. For some it may be their first taste of school, other’s face new classes, teachers, peer group, other’s still are embarking on courses that are going to stretch and push them and other’s still just don’t get the whole school paraphernalia and become quite stressed at the idea of another year looming.
Whatever the score though there are plenty of ways that parents can help.
Talk to your children and understand their worries and fears. Talk through these calmly with explanations and reassurance. Give children the confidence to deal with issues that arise themselves by providing a secure and stable environment at home where they can open up and work things out. Let them know that you are there for them and that they can talk to you.
Consider the social impact of school on your child. For some children starting at a new school, friendship groups can cause them considerable anxiety. If they don’t know many children, help them with their social and interpersonal skills and talk though their concerns. Maybe have friends back for tea or encourage your child to mix at activity sessions where they will get to know their classmates.
Be prepared. Don’t leave everything to the last minute for going back to school. Ensure that school uniform fits, that any stationery and books are sorted and any other arrangements such as transport, child care, meals etc are in place in good time and confirmed a few days before you go back. Checking that the bus pass can be found a day or two before school’s go back can save a panicked situation on the first day, for instance! Preparations also gear children up to the fact that the end of the holidays are coming and that school is round the corner.
Expectations and Aspirations
Talk to your child about what they are expecting in the current year. Help them think about what they would like to achieve at the end of the year (not just in terms of school but generally as well). Encourage them to have a focus for the year and help them forge a plan as to how they are going to achieve that. A focus helps children to be motivated, dedicated and more determined to achieve. It doesn’t need to be a big focus but just a small series of goals and aims.
After the holiday season, some diets might have gone to pot. Too many ice-creams, burgers and pizzas might be great on holiday but consider healthier options during the term time. Encourage children to drink plenty of water each day – maybe carrying a water bottle to sip from through the day. A good diet will help with brain function, mood and energy levels as well as helping with concentration and the ability to focus and pay attention.
Above all, be positive about the new year ahead. Speak positively about your child’s teacher and school. If there are issues (either historical or that come up during the year) sort these out quietly in the background but for now, with the run up to the start of term, be constructive and give lots of encouragement. Focus on the enjoyment and help your child to really look forward to going back to school and have a great year ahead of them.