It’s almost time for kids to go back to school, and some kids are already back at school. Are you feeling anxious? Are your kids feeling unsure of going back to school? Here are some tools for back to school. Preparing for changes helps ease the transition. A change in routine can be difficult for everyone in the family. By communicating with one another and making time to connect your family will have a successful start to the school year.
New Routines: Kids Crave Stability
New routines can be tough for kids and the entire family. Summertime is usually more relaxed and has more room for flexibility. So when August hits, school supplies are out in stores, it gives us the preempt to start thinking about how our kids will return to school soon. Having a routine will help your child develop good lifelong habits.
Start with letting your kids take an active role in preparing and organizing the schedule. Make a weekly calendar as a family and then make a daily checklist for kids. This way they can have access to look at what their day will entail. They could also check things off as they go. Make sure to put some calmness breaks and time for homework on there as well.
Also, talk about when things come up or unexpected things happen so they are prepared for that too. What might a day look like if they get home later than expected or someone stops over during their homework session. Have a backup plan. This will ensure that everyone in the family will know how to handle those times too.
Making Friends: A Lifelong Skill
Making and keeping friends is an important skill for all ages. Teaching your kids how to form genuine connections leads to healthy social interactions. Encourage your kids to step out of their comfort zones, introduce themselves, and initiate conversations. Remind them that a simple smile, using names, offering compliments, and talking positivity can work wonders in building friendships.
A great way to prepare is to role play the situation at home. Guide them in thinking of conversation starters and ways to enter into a group of peers. It’s also helpful to share times when you have used these skills to make new friendships.
Make sure to focus on the positive of each day. How did they include or reach out to someone to be their friend? What was one thing they learned about another child today at school. Maybe even write it down and add to it each day.
Technology is a Must: Create healthy habits
Most kids these days have some sort of access to a device. It might be a phone, ipad, or some other type of electronic device. So how do you, as the parent, structure the use of their device in a healthy way. One way to start is by talking about what it looks and sounds like. What are your expectations as the parents and how is it supposed to be used?
The what, why, when and where are four important questions to talk about as a family. What is being watched or researched? Are they playing a game, watching a video or researching a topic for school? Why is it being used? Do they need it to find information or is it being used to socialize with friends? When is it being used? Is it being used at school, after school or in the evening for homework. Last, but not least, where is it being used? Does it need to be done at the kitchen counter or in the family room? At night, is it in their bedroom or in another room where they do not have access. Your family will have a much more healthy environment for devices once you discuss these four things.
Communication is the Key: With the Teacher and your Child
Communicating with your child and the teacher is so important. Letting the teacher know what the best way to reach you is or what type of communication you prefer helps tremendously. It might be a phone call, email or a text. Also, if you want weekly communication let the teacher know that. For most, there is a weekly newsletter or some type of communication that goes out to all parents.
Also, if you have questions about a situation or something that is happening in school make sure to call the teacher to ask her questions. If your child comes home sad or angry and you are unsure of what happened because you’re not there, it’s best to reach out to the teacher. Your child’s version of what happened may or may not be accurate. They are seeing it from their lens or side of it so it is always best to communicate with the teacher. Everyone wants what is best for your child. It’s best to work together to make that happen.
Parents Need Support
Yes, you need support in parenting and back to school. It’s an adjustment for your child, but it’s also an adjustment for you. Planning for the four topics above will help you tremendously. It’s important to recognize that you may need to take some breaks and time for yourself. That is normal. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed as a parent.
Another way to help you is to look for resources, like coaching. We are here to support you by listening and offering ways to help you. Parenting is hard work, but is worth every minute. Remember to take time to meet your needs too.