I don’t know about your family, but there is always an excitement and also apprehension as the first day of school approaches. Supplies and clothes need to be purchased or collected, lunches need to be made, and daily schedules need to be adjusted. Kids can be apprehensive about the upcoming changes. Here are 5 tips that can help as the first day of school approaches.
1. Start adjusting your child’s sleep patterns now.
It can take up to a couple of weeks for new sleep patterns to be adjusted to. Children tend to stay up later at night and sleep later in the mornings during summer vacation. Kids need up to 9 ½ to 11 hours of sleep a night. Teens need up to 9 ½ hours. Getting them to bed earlier can help prepare them for early mornings once school starts.
2. Involve your child when picking out school supplies
I remember that I loved back to school shopping. I enjoyed picking out my binders and the types of crayons I wanted. It was great to have a backpack with new supplies. Involving your child in picking out school supplies gives them ownership in the process of preparing for school.
3. Take time in the days leading up to school to talk about the school day
It can be helpful to talk about the process of getting ready for school. Discuss the different steps and what you will require the child to do and what you will do. Talk about the drop off process and how your child will get home. Ask them what they think their day will be like. Discussing these things can open the lines of communication for them to share with you their concerns and also what they are excited about. Be alert for signs that your child is worried or nervous and be proactive to talk with them.
4. Get ready the night before
Take time to pack lunches and lay out clothes to be worn. Make sure that backpacks are packed and are placed by the front door. Completing these tasks the night before helps to eliminate stress on the first morning.
5. Create first day of school traditions
Traditions can be important for children, and helps to create an event that they look forward to. In our family, we have a tradition of taking a picture of our kids standing on the steps in front of our house. It is fun to look at the pictures from one year to the next and talk about how much they have grown within the last year. Maybe for you it would include a special breakfast or writing a note and putting in their lunch.