Friday, August 20, 2010

Handling "Back to School" Jitters!

Here are 3 simple ideas to help you (and your child) prepare for the start of the school year:

1. Keep it upbeat and positive. Keeping the topic of school positive and exciting is crucial. Make sure that anxiety and stress do not influence your child's feelings about starting school.

2. Be Sensitive. Validate your child's fears and reassure him that it is going to be all right. Make sure to remind him that he has succeeded in new challenges in the past, and will be fine with this new challenge too. You can use yourself as an example: share how you have been nervous in the past too about starting something new, like a new class, a new neighborhood or a new job. Also, remind your child of situation when he had felt the “jitters” in the past and how he handled it well, like a little league game or a piano recital.

3. Adjust Schedules Early. Don't wait until the day before school starts to give your child an earlier bedtime or wake up call. It will make everyone’s morning a lot less stressful if your child knows in advance what’s expected of him that first day of school.

4. Have your kids write a note about what they MOST want to learn the coming year. Together, seal in an envelope and open it together the next summer! (great suggestion from Wendy Young from Kidlutions )

5. 6. Establish fun tradition to mark back to school- a party, a special dinner, post all the goals 4 new school year on wall. We have started having a picnic/party at the beach with all our daughter's friends, some of which are not going to her school and some that are. It helps set the mood for the upcoming year!

Do you have any ideas you would like to share? I'd love to hear what YOU do to get yourself and your kids prepare for the upcoming start of the school year!

1 comment:

  1. A great story for back to school is The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It features Chester Racoon who is scared to start to school until his mother shares a secret...the kissing hand. By placing her kiss in his paw she gives him a little piece of love that helps keep him warm and fuzzy all through his first school day. A follow up activity to this is to make Kissing Hand Cookies. Use any butter cookie recipe and a hand cookie cutter, have seen them at the crafts store and Walmart. Chill, roll, and cut the dough. Then when the cookies are fresh from the oven put a Hershey Kiss in the middle! You might even want to make little racoon footprints and hide them throughout the house the morning before school starts. Have a note from Chester by your child's bed, and have them go on a scavenger hunt for school supplies throughout the house following the "treks" have the hunt end at the kitchen or dining room table with a backpack and a copy of the story book. One final idea that I've seen classes do is to take a small puzzle. Then spray paint it. Using non-toxic paint paint your child's hand and make a hand print on the assembled puzzle. When dry, then attach a picture of your child on the first day of school into the middle of the hand. Spray with a sealant and dissasemble the pieces. Makes a great present for Grandparents!