Back to school can be a big adjustment for both parents and children after a wonderfully lax summer. Instead of having everyone super stressed as we continue to make the transition from summer to school we have rounded up five simple tips on how to ease the transition for everyone.
Talk About It
Is it your child’s first year at preschool? Or maybe it’s not their first year, but they’re still a little hesitant about school. Either way, a great way to ease anxiety about school is to talk and read about preschool. Answer any questions your child may have about preschool. Find some books related to preschool and read those together. And of course, if an open house is an option, check out the new preschool and classroom together. Getting an opportunity to know the classroom before starting school can lessen anxieties greatly.
Ease Into New Routines
Many children need time for adjustments. Instead of changing schedules the day before the first day, begin a progression into the new school routine. For example, instead of going from a late bedtime to a much earlier one, take a week or two before school starts back to slowly push bedtime to be earlier, while also transitioning waking up earlier.
Does everyone find themselves running around in circles trying to pack lunches, get breakfast in bellies, make sure bags are prepped? According to Alexandra Mayzler, director of Thinking Caps, “The rule of thumb is that everything that does not have to be done in the morning should be done the night before.” Having bags packed, clothes laid out, and other similar tasks make for a less stressful morning for everyone!
Limit Screen Time
Screen time should be monitored year round, but we totally get the “summer is almost over and we’re running out of things to do so lets all chill on the couch watching tv” route. But, as summer closes, start limiting screen time and have children use those imaginations and play outside. Not only does it help kids become less sedentary, it also helps with better sleep.
Keep Having Fun!
Just because school is back in session doesn’t mean all the fun things stop happening. Keep up those fun traditions you started over summer! They don’t have to be nightly activities, but have something fun for the family to do – whether it’s continuing to read together everyday, swimming together, or going out for a special meal – having fun things for the family keeps your child connected to you and doesn’t make the school year feel like a burden.