Get Ready for Back to School

It’s almost back-to-school season. For some families, the biggest challenges during this time are choosing the right school supplies and putting together cute outfits. But for other families, there are bigger issues at play when the school year rolls back around.

Post-pandemic, more and more children are dealing with separation anxiety during school. After participating in at-home learning for a prolonged period of time, some children struggle to make that re-entry back into a regular classroom. If you are wondering how to prepare your kids to go back to school, this quick guide can help. We have some tips and tricks that may help make this a smooth transition this year. Keep reading to learn more about back to school for kids.

Talk About Triggers

If your child struggles with getting back to school, talk about the triggers that are making things feel anxious. Are they nervous about making friends? Do they fear they may not do well on assignments? Do they find the schedule overwhelming? These are important questions to ask so that you and your child can start to create coping skills that will help deal with the issue.

Get a Routine Going

Children find routines comforting. It may help to get a back-to-school routine going a week or two before school actually starts. This will give your child several days to get their thoughts and emotions ready for the change. You can start by reestablishing bedtimes and wake-up times.

Once kids are ready for the day, you may even want to keep them on a schedule during the day that involves some light learning activities. This helps their nervous system start adjusting to the idea that school is coming.

Focus on the Positives

If there are certain aspects of school that your child really loves, focus heavily on these. Is there a favorite activity or class they will return to? Is there going to be a new experience they get to be involved in this year such as chorus or band? Does your child really love getting new school supplies? Focus on these positives to help your child remember going back to school is not all bad.

Don’t Add to the Anxiety

It is very important for parents to remember to not add to the anxiety. The beginning of the school year is not the time to start reminding your child about the challenges from last year. For instance, if your child did not do well in a certain class, harping on how you expect them to do better this year will not necessarily make them do better. It may just add to their anxiety.

A better approach would be to simply inform your child of ways you are going to support them in that area. For instance, if a child struggled in math last year instead of saying, “You better pay attention in math, and quit making bad grades,” you could say, “This year we are going to set aside 30 minutes every night so that you and I can go over your math assignments. I’m looking forward to helping you in math this year.”