Back to school: How to make it less painful

September is just around the corner and the days are starting to get shorter again as the sunset gets earlier and earlier. These are the indications that summer is coming to an end and that it is nearly time to go back to school for a new school year. When this time arrives, children will have to face the mix of emotions that come from saying goodbye to summer and hello to a new year at school, full of new information and challenges. According to experts, this can be a very stressful time for a lot of children as they will need to completely readjust their routines and timetables, as well as asking themselves those important questions… Will my friends still be in my class? What will my new teachers be like? All of these things can be stressful.

Try and bring in the idea of going back to school gradually as children will still be busy enjoying themselves on holiday, at the swimming pool, with friends, with routines completely different to the rest of the year. Try and make the event of going back to school as stress-free as possible as the new school year is hard for both parents and children.

How to make going back to school as easy as possible

As we suggested, going back to school can present many challenges so here are a few tips and ideas to help make everything go as smoothly as possible:

Adjusting routines and timetables

This is usually one of the hardest things to get used to as during the summer holidays, children’s routines are a lot more flexible, especially bedtime. Sometimes in September, we ask our children to change their sleeping patterns too drastically, when this readjustment should be done more gradually. It is recommendable to start this readjustment 2 to 3 weeks before classes begin, to give them enough time to adapt to their new routine and be as ready as possible for that anticipated first day back.

Remember and be thankful for the good times had during the summer months

During the summer holidays, children do a lot of fun activities that they love, like trips away, days at the swimming pool, amusement park visits, as well as all of the possibilities of making new friends. It is a good idea to end the summer months remembering all of the good things that have happened by looking at photos, writing about new experiences or telling stories about what they have done. This will help children to end this chapter by remembering the good moments and avoid them from being so nervous about something new.

Propose new goals and objectives

The start of a new school year is a good time to propose new goals and objectives to achieve. Set new objectives like a new after-school activity, or a higher grade in their favorite classes, anything for them to begin classes with a bit of extra motivation.

Involve children when acquiring new school material

It is a good idea to involve your children when purchasing new material for schools, such as clothing and school equipment. Using new equipment like pens and coloring pencils is one of the things that children get most excited about when they go back to school, so try and take advantage of this.

Reinforce the good things about going back to school

Children may see many negatives about going back to school like summer ending, the cold weather coming back, getting up early again, not seeing their friends as much or no more days at the swimming pools! For all of these reasons, it is essential for you to reinforce the good things about going back to school like, “you’re getting older”, “you are going to learn new things”, “you can make more friends”, or “you are going to start playing your favourite sport again”. All of these things can help to make going back to school less stressful and help them to be full of energy and motivation for when the big day arrives.

These are some of the ideas to make going back to school as easy as possible for your children. It is unfortunate that summer has to end, but this also marks the beginning of a new and exciting period, full of new challenges and obstacles to overcome.

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