Back to school time is always a little tricky to maneuver as giving up the freedom of summer for school days is not all that enticing. But with a little psychology and preparation, kids can get to where they actually look forward to this transition!
First of all, our bodies, like the seasons, are changing. The need for warmer clothing and the sight of autumn colours is almost like a trigger that tells us, "back to school." So why not celebrate the changing seasons as a way of helping your child get ready for school?
Start getting your children to bed earlier and earlier until they reach their school day bedtime. See if they don't wake up on their own at about the time they need to for school. If alarm clocks can be avoided, children will learn to listen to and honour their own rhythms, which is a great lesson on its own. Properly preparing your children can make a real difference in the way they deal with those first few days (which are also the most stressful).
Having them eat a good breakfast, in a peaceful atmosphere will also help. Teaching them good habits before school starts increases the chance they'll keep up those good habits throughout the year. Of course, there will always be days when a child sleeps in, or misses breakfast. But with good habits in place, these exceptions should not have too much negative impact.
Activities - Both Fun and Useful
Plan activities outside the house in the morning for a couple weeks before the big day to help youngsters make the transition of getting up and moving in the morning.
Talking about new beginnings gets children psyched about school. Read books together about going back to school. Make a calendar two weeks in advance, and plan an activity a day to celebrate and count down; and your children will actually begin to look forward to going back.
Spend an afternoon going through your child's closet to remove clothes that are too small to make room for new clothes. Try to set up a system to help your children choose their own clothes like putting outfits together in the closet or drawers. Get your kids to lay their clothes out the night before so there are no last minute fusses about not knowing what to wear!
Another way of getting a child in the spirit is to spend a day buying school supplies, a new outfit or two, and maybe even new shoes. Without becoming materialistic, all these new things incite new beginnings, and help the child to prepare themselves for a new start. These activities will actually feed a child's enthusiasm for school. Don't forget to schedule in a treat, like lunch or getting ice-cream after shopping so that you both get a little of quality time together.
Good Habits Can Be Fun
Take first-day-of school pictures and compare it with last year so your children can see the changes. You can also measure their height and make markings on the wall with the date, so they can see how they're growing.
Establish a place where they put their lunch boxes and book bags, etc. to avoid last-minute scrambles. Good habits last children a life time. Teach your children the value of establishing good habits early on in life so that they get a head start on time management. Help them learn, but let them be responsible. In other words, once a habit seems in place, let them handle things, even if they skip a day or go off schedule. If the habit is well-anchored, it will remain solid. And giving them responsibility helps them build confidence and is also part of the learning process.
With a little thought and planning, going back to school can go smoothly for everyone; it can even be fun! We have so much to be grateful for in Edmonton. Helping children ease their way back to school ensures their success and makes it easier for you too!
Photo credit: stock.adobe.comPosted by Terry Paranych on