Back to school- Gearing up for a new session
Created by Divya Marwaha Updated on Apr 11, 2014
“Mom, how many holidays are left?” These were the first words that came from my 6-year-old son, the moment he opened his eyes every morning. As I answered his innocent question, I could sense my tension mounting with every passing day. After 20 days of constant “all play, no work”, it is not wrong to expect tantrums from children, particularly the young ones, while going back to school. What worsens the situation is the fact that they have so much new ahead of them-a new class, a new teacher and possibly, a new peer-group that can make them insecure or uncomfortable. And the parents are equally stressed, facing tantrums of children in addition to financial implications involved in the beginning of a new session.
As parent of two children, I have learnt to cope with these “back-to-school blues”. Here are a few tips I would like to share with my fellow parents:
1. Setting the routine well in advance:
Holidays after final exams tend to put children in relaxed mode. Consequently, late nights and late mornings become a usual practice. It is very important to reset the routine, particularly for a young child, well in advance before the school re-opens. Parents need to put the child to sleep at reasonably early hours and wake them up in time, a few days before the school begins. One can perhaps, take the child for a bicycle ride or a game in the park to freshen him up. This can help prevent discomfort and lethargy when the school starts, making the situation easy for both, the child and the parents.
2. Make it an event to look-forward to:
Parents need to make the graduation of a child to a new class, an event to look forward to. Both positive and negative thoughts tend to be contagious; so, it is best for parents to keep a positive approach and not to discuss their apprehensions or show nervousness in front of the children. Parents need to share the excitement of the child regarding the new class, new books, stationery and so on. Buying my son a new lunch box and sipper with his favorite cartoon character usually does the magic for me. Assuring the child that moving on to the new class is an integral part of growing up also helps. You can also involve them in grocery shopping for their tiffin boxes.
3. Involving the child in making preparations for the big day:
Parents need to seek the participation of the child in making preparations for the new class. Some simple things I do are asking the child for his help in covering and labeling his new books, letting him select his bag, pencil box and lunch box, making him lay out his uniform and shoes on the previous night, and such small things. All these give the child a feeling of responsibility and independence not to mention make him feel important. Ensure that school uniform and shoes are ready well in time, as new session usually requires these, on account of change of season. Last minute hassles can elevate the stress level in parents and children. Contact the van driver a day before the school begins, to verify the pick-up and drop-off timing of the child to avoid any problems later on.
4. Interaction with teachers:
Make sure to attend any orientation programs offered by school authorities, as these are meant to familiarize the parents with new teachers as well as the rules and regulations to be followed. Attending such sessions can increase the comfort level of parents, and they can discuss things with children and convey important things to them before they re-join school. Parents can also discuss the problems of their children with the new teacher, which can help develop a bonding between them, which is very essential, especially for children who take their time opening up.
5. Making adjustments in your own schedule:
Parents need to make a few adjustments in their daily routine, in order to ensure that this transition is smooth enough. Sleeping too late can make one irritated, which may be taken out as anger on children. On the other hand, a restful night ensures that one gets up fresh and helps the child get ready for school in a happy frame of mind. Giving the child a healthy breakfast is also very important. And do not forget that loving goodbye kiss.
Another thing I would like to share is that one needs to practice restraint as a parent. Asking too many questions and being over-enthusiastic, when he is back from school, can sometimes bring unexpected reactions from the child. Being bombarded with a series of questions may be the last thing a child needs after a long and tiring first day at school. Let the child relax, watch a cartoon-show, have his lunch and take a short nap. Help the child with his home-work in the evening. Parents need to be loving and patient to ease up this back-to-school transition.
| May 02, 2014
Hi Divya, Thanks for the great tips. It is not easy to start children on school after a vacation but your ideas will definitely be helpful.
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