Well summer holidays have come to an end and our little angels are all heading back to school or starting school this week. Here in Victoria most are heading back Wednesday or Thursday. Here are 7 top tips to help your child be school ready.
1. Explain to your child what they should expect on the first day of school, from the before school routine to walking to class, meeting the teacher, learning, lunch, playtime, pick up time. This helps reduce confusion or worries the child may have. It also gives the child a chance to ask questions.
2. If your child has worries, listen and teach them to problem solve. E.g. I am worried I won’be able to find the toilet or I don’t have my friends in my class this year. Ask them what do they think they could do? Role play and rehearse problem solving to each particular concern to ease your child’s mind.
3. Focus on the positives, yes they will have worries which are normal so after addressing those worries amplify the positives. “What are you looking forward to the most?”
4. If your child is particularly anxious, practice calming techniques. This may be a breathing technique where they imagine smelling a flower then blowing out a candle. Alternative they may like to carry something small that calms them, e.g. a handkerchief in a calming colour, stress ball, figurine, something small that fits in their pocket that they can access if needed.
5. Get organised the night before. Backpack packed, uniform out with school shoes. Set an alarm and leave plenty of time to take those important first day photos.
6. Ensure they get a good night sleep. Your child has probably had a very relaxed routine for the last 6 weeks. We know that sleep is essential for learning, mood, the immune system and growth.
7. Remember not to transfer your own anxieties or worries to your child, after reassuring your child that you are returning later (or perhaps dad or grandma is) say goodbye and don’t linger. Save those tears until you are out of sight, it may distress your child if they see you upset. In many cases (like mine) they may be tears of joy that school is back!!