Do you remember when you were in school? You could hardly wait for the school year to end and summer vacation to begin. The closer a new school year came, the more you had back to school blues. Now it seems as if the summer months fly by and the summer break seems to get shorter and shorter. Your children probably feel the same way as the new school year is drawing near.
What can parents do to help with their children’s back to school blues? Here are some ideas of how to help your child prepare for the new school year that’s just around the corner.
1. A couple of weeks before school starts, begin to get them back on a “school night” schedule. Whatever schedule works for your family (in bed by 8 p.m. and up by 7 a.m., in bed by 9 p.m. and up by 7 a.m., etc.), begin to implement it in increments to get them used to going to bed earlier and getting up earlier for the school day.
2. Listen to your child’s concerns. Think about how you felt when you had to return to school. Acknowledge their fears when they first happen; don’t push them aside. Then talk things over with your child; tell them a story about when you were a child in the same situation.
3. If you’re allowed, go to the school a couple of days or weeks before school starts. Take your child on a tour of the different classrooms or areas in the school that they’ll spend time in. Meet the teacher if they’re available. Be sure to take them by the lunchroom, library, office, school nurse’s office (if there is one), and most importantly, the restrooms.
4. Have a “dry run” for getting ready each day for a few days before the first day of school. Plan to set everything out the night before just as they will be during the school year, and then have your child get dressed and ready to leave to see how things will work. This will also allow you to see if there are some areas of the morning routine that need to be tweaked to work better.
5. Create a special place for your child to do homework and leave their backpack so needed items are less likely to be lost. You may want to create a routine where you go through your child’s backpack with them each night, gathering any papers that need to be signed, assignments they need to do, and jot down any important dates on the family calendar.
6. Have a back to school blues-buster party. The night before school starts, plan a special meal, watch a favorite movie on DVD, and plan a back to school blues-buster dessert. Choose whatever will cheer up your child and give them a good feeling about the first day of school.
Your child is not the only one in the world to deal with back to school blues. It helps to talk things over, be prepared, and then celebrate the new beginning. You might find that you’re able to handle your own back to school blues better, too.
Also be sure to grab your copy of Real Life Guidance to Helping Your Teen With High School. This offers parenting help and shows you how to help your teen deal with the pressures of high school and also help them to be more independent!