It’s that time of year again — back to school. This means back to the constant morning struggle to get your little ones out of bed, the fight to pick out what their outfits will be, and helping them get rid of the back-to-school blues. This is a stressful time for not only parents, but also children — especially if it’s their first time going to school.
“The end of summer and the beginning of a new school year can be a stressful time for parents and children,” said psychologist Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., of the American Psychological Association.
Recognizing the anxiety of not only yourself but also your children is important in maintaining a healthy relationship with them on the first day of school and the rest of the school year.
“While trying to manage work and the household, parents can sometimes overlook their children’s feelings of nervousness or anxiety as school begins. Working with your children to build resilience and manage their emotions can be beneficial for the psychological health of the whole family,” said Bufka.
Here are a few tips to help you get through the first day and the entire school year!:
1. Practice the first-day-of-school routine
Getting your children into a schedule not only helps you, but also makes them more aware of what responsibilities they have every morning — leaving less room for hiccups or even worse, tantrums. “A smooth morning routine also can help your child feel more successful, improve his or her self-image and reduce stress in a big way,” said author Connie Schnoes to Parenting.org.
2. Have your children give you a list of breakfast ideas the Sunday before the school week starts
By setting up a tentative menu, the responsibility of what your children want to eat is on them. This way, the chances of flying food or complaints about their breakfast decrease. Since breakfast is such an important meal, starting your children's day off with a healthy and happy breakfast will make their day and yours easier. “In general, kids who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. Without breakfast, kids can get irritable, restless, and tired," says Seattle Children’s Hospital.
3. Get to know your neighbors and their children
Not only will this encourage your children to be more outgoing and social but it will also protect them from suspicious neighbors. “By doing this, you establish a favorable beginning relationship and create the opportunity of introducing your kids to their kids," says Lawyers Title. This is also a good way to develop a network of individuals to rely on in case you’re having a terrible morning or facing an emergency.
With these tips and helpful hints, going back to school should be smoother for both you and your child.