Transitioning Back to School
For many families, this fall will be the first time children have been back in school for full days, 5 days a week since March of 2020. This can be a hard transition, waking up and leaving the house each morning can be a big deal. As we head back to school, there will certainly be some excitement and anxiety. There are also likely to be questions about health and safety as your child makes the transition back to in-class learning. Here are a few tips for being as prepared as possible for back-to-school time, how to roll with the punches, and how to help your child thrive after such an uncertain year!
Explain to your child that this year’s school experience may look different than they remember. We still need to wear a mask and social distance. After hearing for so long that it was not safe to go to school, they may have questions or anxieties about whether it is safe to go back now. Take time to answers their questions using age-appropriate language, and gently let them know that “normal” could be a changing concept.
Set a Morning Routine:
While remote learning definitely had its drawbacks, rolling out of bed and studying in their pajamas was convenient and comfortable. Remind your child about what kind of attire is appropriate and how much earlier they will need to wake up to get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, and get out the door. The best way to make your morning routine stress-free is to take care of things the night before. Write down a list with tasks such as:
Layout an outfit
Check breakfast foods
Set an alarm clock
Plan Family Time:
This past year, many families have had a lot more time together than they ever expected. Suddenly having to spend hours away from you and home every weekday may cause anxiety for kids who thrive from routine. Helping your child feel supported by blocking off a chunk of your own time in the evening after school. Having a set family dinner time where they can talk about their day will help give them support to get into the swing of things. Let your child know they’re not alone in this new adventure. Remind them that you’ll be facing any challenges that arise together, and you’ll always be there for them no matter what the upcoming school year brings!