APPREHENSIVE ABOUT THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR?

Is the glow wearing off the holidays as the beginning of a new school year ebbs closer? Or are you clinging on to the holidays and terrified of the prospect of what ‘back to school’ means for your kids?

My family and I have had a beautiful time together but I am feeling that the kids (and I) are ready to get back to school and have some structure, and have those lovely teachers help me again with the teaching of my kids (thank you to all teachers for the job you do, I know I couldn’t do it!).

For some kids they will transition smoothly into the new school year with excitement and ease, but for lots of kids, and parents, there will be trepidation about what is ahead. Acknowledgment and preparation can help.

Acknowledge

that transition can be challenging, reassure your kids about how they are feeling and let them know it’s okay if they have concerns or worries. Allow them the space to feel and express what is on their mind and workshop strategies with them. Here are some examples with tips, although there are likely to be a myriad of others, this gives you some ideas.

  • Worry about who their new teacher will be? Talk with them about a tricky teacher you may have had and what worked for you? Give them steps to follow if they feel they need your support or back up during the year.
  • Stress about the academic expectations? Talk with them about strategies for study and homework and how their effort is more important than their grade.
  • Starting a new school (Kindy, High School or just a change of schools) and apprehensive of the unknown? Do you know any other parents/children who will be attending the school? If so, organize a catch up prior to starting or during the first week so your child will have someone familiar to look out for.

The key thing here is to LISTEN and give them space to FEEL what they are feeling. We don’t always have to have any answers, it can be cathartic and reassuring for a child to just be heard and have their feelings validated.

Prepare

Preparing yourself and helping them prepare too can be a way to offer some control which can alleviate some of the stress and make sure that the first week back isn’t one of fighting fires.

  • There are practical things you can prepare – uniforms, lunch boxes, sunscreen, name tags. Do an audit and then make a list of what you need and source.
  • Make sure you have checked the day and time of first day back. Don’t want to get all prepared and turn up the day before everyone else.
  • Organise logistics, who is doing pick up and drop off and when. Maybe (like me) you could have a roster with other school parents so you can share the load.
  • Spend some time working through stress reducing activities they can engage in if things become overwhelming. Breathing exercises and grounding techniques.

So, acknowledge and prepare and know that you’ve got this. I wish you all a smooth transition into 2019 school year.

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