Going back to school after summer vacation is a big deal. For some children, that means moving to a new classroom with a new teacher. Some go to an entirely new school. Change can be fun, but it can also be scary.
Your child may be feeling something like the “Sunday dread” we sometimes experience when the weekend is over, the miserable expectation that the old boring routine will begin again. Alternatively, they may be experiencing more severe emotional distress and want to avoid school altogether.
If your child is scared or anxious about going back to school, you may not know how to help. This can be an upsetting and difficult situation for you, the parent or caregiver, too. Here are some steps you can take to help your child return to the classroom.
1. Let your child know they can hear you
You may be tempted to ignore your child’s fears by quickly reassured them that everything will be okay. But it is better to let them know that you understand and believe in them and that you will work with them and do everything you can to support them until they are back in school. Effective.
This will help your child get out of the negative emotions and work with you to solve the problem.
2. Know what worries you
There are many reasons why your child does not want to go back to school. They may be trying to avoid negative things such as bullying, a difficult environment created by teachers, difficulty interacting with classmates, academic pressure, and so on. They may have neurodevelopmental problems such as autism, ADHD, or dyslexia that make it difficult for them to attend school, or they may have mental health problems such as anxiety. there is.
Or maybe you’re worried that you’ll have to leave your usual home during the summer vacation and study in a bright and noisy environment instead. They may have separation anxiety and want to be close to you. Knowing what you’re particularly worried about can help you find a solution, perhaps with the help of a teacher or other professional.
3. Let them know it’s okay to be scared
If your family is nervous about going back to school, both you and your child may feel a little inadequate and ashamed of their feelings.
But this fear is not a sign of weakness. This is an understandable challenge, there is a real reason for it, and you and your child have the ability to understand and overcome it. By overcoming this challenge and facing it with the right support, you and your child can ultimately feel more capable and more resilient.
4. Take things step by step
Going back to school soon and seeing your classmates and teachers all at once can be overwhelming. A few days before school starts, you might want to set up a play date or meet-and-greet with a few school friends for your child so they can catch up before their first busy day.
Perhaps your child will find it easier to cope with school if they take the few classes they want first and then build up until they all attend. Big hurdles like returning to school are more manageable when you break down tasks into bite-sized chunks and focus on small successes that you can connect over time.
5. Focus on sleep
Sleep habits are likely to be disrupted during the holidays, and everyone at home will struggle to cope with early bedtimes and morning wake-ups.
Teenagers will find it particularly difficult. Changes in sleep patterns from puberty can delay the time you feel ready for sleep by up to two hours. Unfortunately, this doesn’t reduce the amount of sleep you need (about 9 hours a night).
But sleep is important for mood and academic performance. Be kind and considerate to yourself and others in your home and make sure everyone is in bed at least 15 minutes before school starts.
If you can’t deal with this, or it’s already too late, there are other ways to improve your sleep. Exercising during the day, cutting back on caffeine intake, reducing screen time at night, and even skipping some extracurricular activities at the beginning of the new school year may also help.
6. Pay attention to your mood
Try to reduce your own negative stories about returning to school. If you are unhappy about returning to school life, chances are your child will follow your lead.
Try to avoid negative conversations about going back to school, both in real life and online. If you’re having a hard time staying positive and you have another adult in your home or family, you can ask that person to help you be positive and counteract your anxiety and negative thoughts.
7. Encourage optimism
Practice thinking optimistically with your child. Before he goes to bed each night, let him write down three things he is looking forward to the next day. Meeting friends, clubs after school, favorite meals. Doing so will help balance any negative emotions you may feel in the days ahead.