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Beat the Back to School Blues

Back to school boy smiling

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Back to school is a term that is thrown around by advertisers from July onwards, reminding children that September is on it’s way even before they have finished their summer term. As the school summer holidays draw to a close you might notice your little ones, and not so little ones, getting anxious about returning to school. Whether it’s their first day in early years, moving up to juniors, high school or even a new school, that first day can be a daunting experience for your child.

Prepare and plan ahead

It’s always a good idea to get them used to their new surroundings, ideally before the summer holidays, so if you used to take your pre-schooler on the school run to pick up their older sibling, chances are they will feel fairly comfortable finding their way around the playground and will recognise some familiar faces.

Prepare your child for school by getting them involved in choosing a new school bag, lunchbox, shoes and all the other essentials they will need. They will love choosing their new school bits and seem to particularly like labelling things, which is handy if they have a tendency to lose things!

Back to school boys smilingBack to school

On the first day it is really important to get your timings right for the school run. If you arrive too early, you are giving your child time to become clingy and anxious. On the other hand, leaving late and rushing about will only panic your child further so try to get their just before the bell if possible. I offer this advice from years of running down the road to school only to find I have forgotten book bags and caused tears before my daughter even enters the classroom! It’s also a good idea to make your goodbyes short and sweet, the longer you spend saying goodbye, the harder it is and there’ll soon be tears. And that’s just you!

If your child is shy or finds it hard to make new friends, mention this to their teacher, who will gently encourage them to play with others without exasperating the problem. Forcing your child to talk to other children can embarrass them and make the problem worse. You could also try chatting to the other mums and inviting children over to play after school.

Young children are expected to work hard and behave all day at school and can find this tiring, especially if all they’ve ever done before school is site at home and play. Don’t expect them to come out full of beans but count your blessings if they do! It’s worth setting aside some time for them in those first few days so you can have a little one-on-one time after school when they may be feeling a bit deflated.

If your child is going up to high school and wants to make their own way, it’s important you run through this at least once before the first day. Perhaps take them once and then let them try on their own or with their friends. It’s hard letting go but children of high school age like their independence and allowing them to make their own to school is a good place to start that journey.

school girl thumbs up

Another age old issue for children starting high school is homework. Not many children enjoy doing homework so don’t expect yours to. Make the whole process a little less painful by helping them arrange a homework plan so when they come in they know when to get on with their homework and when they can relax and have some free time. Having a plan helps your child learn to be more organised and as the list of homework gets smaller, your child’s sense of achievement should get larger.

Parents nerves make children more anxious

No matter what the situation, your child might have a few nerves on the first day. That’s ok, don’t panic. Just remind them that most children feel that way on the first day of term and be positive. Mum and Dad’s anxiousness can be spotted a mile away so try and keep it together until your child is safely within their classroom. You can cry in the car on the way to work!





About Dani Lee

About Dani Lee

Dani enjoys turning her hand to writing when she gets a chance. Dani works full time and has 2 children, Sophie, 7 and Harry, 15 months and if anyone knows what it is to be a working parent, she does!

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