The start of a new school year can be both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. Kids usually can’t wait to see their friends but may be nervous about what to expect with a new teacher, new material, and maybe even a new school. And while the freedom of summer can be nice, it’s also great to get back into a more structured routine. Going back to school can require both kids and parents to make some adjustments. Here are a few ways that you can ease the process and get the school year off to a great start:
Is your child used to going to bed later and sleeping in every morning? Slowly adjust their schedule in 15 minute increments every few days until they’re going to bed and waking up at the same time they will once school starts. Make sure they’re getting up and practicing getting dressed and eating breakfast too. It can be a rude awakening to suddenly transition from lounging in their pajamas watching TV in the morning to being expected to be dressed, fed, and out the door by a certain time. Increase motivation by planning some morning trips to the park, the store to get school supplies, or even taking a walk around the neighborhood.
Get your kids more excited for school by letting them help to pick out their own school supplies. Many teachers provide a list prior to the first day, so let your child be responsible for checking off each item and putting it into the cart. If there’s not much flexibility in what they can choose for school, let them pick fun pencils and folders for their work station at home.
If their nerves are getting the best of them, make time each day to discuss the upcoming school year. What are they most excited about? What are they worried about? What are some activities they think they’ll be doing? Who do they know in their class from years past? Simply talking about these issues and working through them together can ease their mind. Stay positive and find ways to get them excited.
Talk about ways they can make new friends and be a good friend. Remind them that other kids are probably nervous too. Help them to think of things they may be able to talk about with other children and things they have in common. Consider arranging a few play dates before school starts so they can interact with kids who will be in their class in a more relaxed environment.
If there is a Meet the Teacher or Back to School night, make sure to attend. This can help your child feel more confident and comfortable. They’ll be able to meet their teacher and kids in their class and see where they’re going on the first day.
Most of all, be reassuring. Change can be difficult for children, but with encouragement, support, and practice, they can be more successful. It may take some time to adjust, but stay positive. And don’t forget that PediaPlex can provide therapy throughout the year to support your child in thriving at school and at home. Whether they could benefit from speech therapy or you’re concerned they may have a learning disorder, PediaPlex can help.
Is your child struggling in school? PediaPlex offers a wide range of testing, evaluations, and therapies to support their needs. Call today!