As September rolls around again many children will be looking forward to returning to school, excited to see their friends again and learn lots of new things. But, understandably, after not being at school for a while some children may feel a bit nervous about going back – from having a new teacher, joining a new school or class.
Here are some tips to try at ease the back to school nerves:
Talk to your child about how they are feeling
Sometimes it can be hard for your child to express how they are feeling, nerves about returning to school can really affect the way your child looks at the prospect of going back after the summer. Make sure you sit down and talk to your child about their thoughts on going back, sometimes children find it easier to talk when there is a bit of a distraction, perhaps ask them over dinner or whilst doing a calming activity together. Once the initial conversation is started it can be easier to open up about specific issues they are worried about.
Keep things positive
For children who don’t relish the idea of going back to school, keep the process as positive as possible. Think about all the things they like about school, for example seeing their friends or playing in the playground, and focus on these when you talk about the upcoming school year. Remind your child of all of the fun things they did in their last school year, trips and fun activities in the classroom.
Whilst it’s natural for all parents to have some level of worry when their child goes back to school, children are quick to pick up on clues about how their parents are feeling. So however you feel on the inside, it is important to put on a brave face and keep a positive attitude towards the situation. If children sense you’re worried about them going to school, they will start to worry also.
Re-establish a routine
During the summer holidays, and even during home schooling, it is understandable that your family’s routine will have changed. Children are likely to have been waking up later or going to bed later. To help them get ready for school, try to get them back into the usual morning and bedtime routines a few days before their return date.
Do as much as you can the night before
A mad rush the morning of their first day back will do nothing to settle their nerves. Instead, prepare their uniform, school bag, projects and anything else they might need the night before. This will help them get into the mind-set that they have school tomorrow and make the morning less stressful, helping them focus solely on returning to school.
Prepare a treat for when they get home
Preparing a treat for the evening of when they get home can turn a stressful day into something nice, they can then look back on the day as a great memory and something to even look forward to next year. It doesn’t have to be anything big, maybe their favourite dinner and ice cream or watch a movie together in the evening with popcorn and sweets.
Whatever happens, it is normal to take a few days, or even a few weeks to get into a routine, but before you know it, back to school jitters will be a thing of the past.