Does your child have the back-to-school jitters? Do you have a little one going off for the first time? Maybe your child can’t wait to get out the door and you are the one having the ‘empty nest’ panic attack?
No matter what the scenario in your home, the end of summer and back-to-school routine can be stressful. Here are a few ideas to help ease the transition for everyone.
- Take any advantage of any offer to go to the school to meet the teacher and see the classroom ahead of time. Even without a formal invitation, schools are open and often teachers are setting up classrooms and don’t mind first-timers coming by for a peek.
- At the very least, walk or drive over and have a look to familiarize your child with the building, playground, correct entrance, etc.
- Try to find out the names of some of the children in the class. Give one or two of them a call, and arrange a play-date at the local park. Offer to host a couple of moms and children for coffee and then everyone will see familiar faces on the big day.
- Have your child do a practice morning run—get the new backpack and sneakers ready, find the camera, set the alarm clock, decide if playtime is going to be built into the morning routine and plan some breakfast menus.
- Develop a plan for breakfast. I found that the strategy of ‘Monday is toast and eggs day, Tuesday is bagel and fruit day’, etc. worked well, at least for the first few weeks. Let your child decide which options to have on which day to increase their sense of control over the process. (You provide the options.)
As a final consolation, don’t forget that children almost always manage better once you have disappeared around the corner than when you are still within sight. They pull themselves together and can focus on the task at hand rather than concentrate on missing you. The day will be over before you know it!
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