Summer is packed with fun for kids, but just about now, you may be hearing, “I’m bored!” Although the first day of school comes around at just the right time, many students have a difficult time transitioning into the school schedule.
Starting a new school, new grade level, or attending school for the very first time can cause butterflies in young tummies. However, this new experience doesn’t have to cause anxiety and stress for you or your child.
Take time to chat with your child about the start of the new school year. Listen for details about school that might be causing anxiety. If your child voices a concern, be sure to offer reassurance and a hug. Consider alerting your child’s teacher, privately, about any of your child’s fears. Also, as the first day of school draws close, consider slowly adjusting bedtime until your student is easily falling asleep at “school night” time. This will make waking up on the first day so much easier.
When the first day of school arrives for you and your family, remember that it will be a busy event. Allow extra time so no one feels rushed or anxious. Start the process the night before by getting organized. Pack lunches, count out lunch money, and place backpacks by the door. Set out clothes, too.
It is much easier to look for a lost shoe the night before than in the morning. When our son was in high school, he was not to go to bed until his backpack, car keys, phone, wallet and band instrument were gathered and ready at the garage door. As a result, I never heard “Mom, I can’t find . . . ” when I was trying to get ready for work.
Of course, don’t forget to start the day with a nutritious breakfast that will get the brain and metabolism going.
Think about the end of the school day, too. Does your student remember his or her routine when the bell rings? Make sure the front office, the teacher, and your student knows if it is the parent-pick-up line or the bus. Some parents may consider asking for a few hours off from work so that they can meet their child at the end of the day. That way, they can see for themselves that the first day of school was interesting, a little scary, and tons of fun!