You may be turning cartwheels that school is getting ready to start again for the year, but have you checked in with your child? This time of year can be daunting and overwhelming for some children. They may start to worry about who is going to be in their class, whether they will be with their friends or if they will make new friends. Tackling back-to-school anxiety can be a mammoth task, but a little preparation can help both you and your child. Trusted parenting expert and Parenting Ideas founder Michael Grose, helped us shape a few back-to-school tips which could help if your child is struggling with anxiety.
Re-establish a routine – Start your school routine the week before Term 1, or a few days prior. Set your school morning alarm, get your child up and dressed (not necessarily in their uniform), pack a small lunch/snack and head to your local park or beach for the morning.
Meal prep – Talk about what you’re going to make for school lunches. Get children involved in the planning and even in the kitchen. Create excitement that they will enjoy the yummy food with their friends the following week.
Who doesn’t love stationery? – Let kids pick out their back-to-school stationery, water bottle, lunch box etc and pre-pack their bag with them.
Get their uniform out – This way your child can see it and mentally prepare to wear it. This will also help if you’re rushing in the morning.
Have a chat – Another key to soothing anxious children is making sure you give them plenty of information. ‘School starts at… We will walk to your classroom and meet your friends… I will leave you, but be back at…’ This allows them to prepare and have something to look forward to.
In the end, all children are unique, and some of these strategies may not apply to your child. However, setting up positive routines for your child will not only help them, but also help you get the year off to a smoother start too.
If you’re looking for more support, ideas or further reading click here. We also have an awesome episode on our Life Ed podcast with Michael Grose, which you can listen to here.