From the beginning of the summer holidays, the shops remind us that we are soon going “Back to School” – new classes, new teachers and for many children and young people, new schools. Some parents find it a relief after 6 weeks of trying to keep their children entertained, for others there is a real sense of loss as their child reaches the next stage of life. But all parents want to prepare their children for that next stage. So here are some tips shared by parents about getting our children ready:
- Talk about their emotions – What will it be like? How are they feeling about it? What are they looking forward to? What are they worried about?
- Practise what will happen e.g. with younger children play “going into the classroom and getting my name off the board” and with older children practise their journey to school .
- Talk about what they can do in difficult situations e.g. they lose their coat or they miss the school bus home – who can they ask for help?
- Make sure they have everything they need in good time.
- Talk about friendships – how to get to know people and what makes a good friend, talk about how to cope when friendships go wrong.
- Early nights for a while before going back can help get them back into good habits.
Children and young people can get very tired when they start something new, so perhaps cutting back on activities that aren’t essential for the first few weeks until they get used to it might help.
And most important – keep doing and saying things to raise your child’s self-esteem and make them feel better about themselves – people who have good self-esteem cope much better with new challenges.
Lots of children and young people really enjoy school – let’s do all we can to help our children to enjoy it too.