It can be hard for children and parents alike to get used to the school routine again once the long summer holidays draw to a close, especially with possible anxieties around a new teacher and classroom. Communication is key, in particular emphasizing to your child that you’re always there to support and encourage them. There are some other things you can do to make the transition back to school smoother, for both yourself and your child, as outlined by this international school in London.
Get into the routine beforehand
Don’t wait until September arrives to introduce an earlier bedtime and waking up time. Start the routine a few weeks before the return to school to allow your child’s biological clock to adjust in time. If they’re starting at a new school, practise the routine of getting up early, getting dressed in their school uniform, packing their bag and taking the journey to school so it all feels familiar when the day comes.
Make it exciting
Make a big thing of going shopping for new school uniform and supplies. Let your child pick their own stationery, lunch box and drink bottle – giving them some choice will help them feel more in control of the situation. Make sure they’ve also got a nice study area to do their homework in so they feel prepared to tackle their new workload. This should be somewhere quiet and free from distractions where they can concentrate and relax.
A healthy lifestyle
If your child feels good physically, they’ll be more likely to feel positive about returning to school. Make sure they’re getting plenty of sleep leading up to the return to school and eating a healthy diet. Regular exercise will also keep them in optimum physical condition and help them feel more energetic, which will have a positive effect on their studies.
Keep communication open
Talk to your child about school restarting in a positive and upbeat way. Casually ask them if they have any specific anxieties about returning, and reassure them that you and their teachers are there to support them. You might find they have unfounded fears about how things might be which you can assuage by emailing school staff in advance of the start date. Praise your child for being courageous and facing any fears they have, and make sure to check in with them regularly when they return to school.
Reconnect with their peers
Before school resumes, arrange a couple of playdates with your child’s peers so they can get used to interacting with people outside of their family bubble again. This will make it less daunting for them to walk into a classroom of other pupils they haven’t seen for a while.
It’s important for children to know their feelings are normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Explain that you too have felt anxious in the past about starting something new or returning to a certain environment after a long absence. It might help to explain how you overcame those fears and that they didn’t last long before you felt comfortable again; this will give your child hope that they won’t always feel so anxious.