Is Your Child Ready for School?
Have you noticed any emotional outbursts as you get closer to the first day?
Being ready for school after a summer of fun, relaxed rules, and no academic responsibilities is difficult. We are already seeing children at the practice whom are anxious about the start of school. In addition, we are also seeing children not ready for school because they know more structure and rules are imminent.
Here are some ways to help your child get ready for school and their emotions:
- Talk About Change. Most children may not be thinking directly about the change from summer to school. In fact, if they are worried about it they might be avoiding the thoughts all together. Find some safe places and ways to talk about the change.
- Validate Their Feelings. Let them know their feelings make sense. Everyone, including adults, struggles with change and changes in their routine. It’s okay to not feel ready for school. Caution: validation means acceptance not permission to avoid. “I get it, it can be nerve wracking! Let’s find some ways you can go to school even when you feel nervous.”
- Start School Routines Now. Don’t wait for two days before school starts. Begin adjusting the schedule now. This includes moving meal times and sliding bed times to replicate the school week.
- Celebrate Growth. A new school year means you have parented your child to the next level. It means your child continues to grow, mature and learn. Celebrate both accomplishments!
More Quick Tips on being Ready for School:
- Start creating a dedicated homework space away from distraction and privileges
- Add some new “bigger, better” items to encourage their maturity (e.g. updated backpack or cool jewelry)
- Be patient with the first few days of adjustment
Know and accept this is a stressful time for many families. One day at a time and things will fall into place as the school year begins. Creating a climate of flexibility, celebration and validation will help.
If you child is having an exceptionally difficult transition from summer to school, please contact New Directions Counseling Services. Our child and family therapists are adept and compassionate about meeting your needs and goals. 724.934.3905