School is one week away; whether you see it or not, it’s likely that your child’s emotional barometer is on the rise! It’s time to begin gearing down – yes, gearing down – for the start of the school year. Here are some simple strategies you can implement right away.
1. Quiet your schedule: I caution parents to try to “squeeze in” any last attempts to get to Wonderland or the CNE in the last week before school. On the contrary, this is the perfect time to spend some laid back time at home. I’m not suggesting that you don’t plan any outings this week, but do be aware that your child will likely be “feeling” the upcoming school year.
2. Get your child’s sleep habits under control: Do your best to get your child into bed at a decent time, and avoid late nights. Similarly, if your child likes to sleep in, I’d encourage you to wake him/her earlier, so the early-morning routine isn’t overly jarring at the start of next week.
3. Have some low-key chats about school: When our kids are nervous about something, we tend to avoid entering into discussions. This isn’t always the best approach. I suggest that you spend some time talking about your routine, lunch ideas, and other shifts that will be coming up. If it causes upset, at least you’ll have time to smooth the waters.
4. Plan for something fun: If it will help your child feel more positive, it might be worth shopping together for some lunch, or after school treats. Or, perhaps consider planning an enjoyable event after the school week is over.
5. Keep YOUR cool! Our kids are notorious for picking up on our anxiety. The more relaxed you are, the better. Do your best to avoid “over-talking,” and be sure to give your child lots of time to process the upcoming events.
For more detailed strategies, search my blog under anxiety and back to school. Best of luck!
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