Is your child reluctant to go to school after the holidays? Or is your child unwilling to start on Home Based Learning, whining at the amount of work to do?
Getting back to the school routine is tough after a month of holidays but parents can help ease this transition in some ways. Just as adults face Monday blues after a weekend of play and rest, children feel it the same way when they have to adapt to the school schedule.
How Parents Can Help Children Get Over the Back-to-School Blues
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
To avoid the morning drama of tantrums due to insufficient rest, it is best to wind up those alarm clocks and get the children to bed early. Being draconian about sleep time is actually beneficial to your child’s cognitive development, physical and mental health. Getting adequate sleep will also ensure better moods so you won’t have to face the morning grouch.
Talk about What to Look Forward to in School
Given how the holidays have been a mainly #stayhome one, the chance to see friends and play with them is something to look forward to. Sit with your child and ask about the many things he or she can anticipate – playtime with friends, canteen food, fun PE lessons, favourite classes, the magical school bookshop and more! It could be daunting to think of school but talking about your child’s favourite activities in school can help with a positive mindset.
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Plan a Fun Activity Midweek or the Weekend
School can be really hard for some children. Perhaps they have faced past trauma of unfortunate incidents, or faced a class bully, or an intimidating teacher. How about planning a favourite activity midweek or the weekend? It could be a picnic, LEGO building time or simply time out at the park cycling. That would help your child look forward to fun time bonding with you, and also give the child time to unwind.
Pack a Surprise in the Snack Box
Whether it’s a favourite forbidden snack, pick-me-up chocolate or a heart-shaped sandwich, packing a surprise in the snack box will make the school day a little less dreary and affirm your child in one universal love language – food! Include a little note of encouragement, wouldn’t that make a lovely surprise?
Draw a Special Symbol on Your Child’s hand
For especially tough days, your child would not like to part with you. Make a temporary tattoo using a wet water colour pencil, draw a rainbox, heart or something your child prefers on his or her hand. And tell them that when you are missed, simply look at the drawing and remember that Mum/Dad is always there. Or any time they miss home, give it a push and mum/dad will feel that nudge or “hug”.
Reminisce Your School Days and How You Adjusted to Your Blues
This is probably one of the opportune times to start a “When I was your age” story. Don’t brag about skipping classes or getting severely punished, but talk about how much you didn’t enjoy certain parts of school. This helps the child to understand that everyone has similar feelings and that he/she isn’t alone in facing the fears and anxiety. And end with lifelong lessons, skills learnt, friends made that have made school all worthwhile.
Cheer Your Child On to Chase Away the Back to School Blues
Getting back to school might be tough and a huge emotional and mental challenge for your child. Be there for your child so his or her burden can be eased. It is a season that will pass, and the big feelings and blues will go away very soon.