It’s that time of the year again, parents! While we’re confident that you’re partly elated about the kids going back to school, we understand that this can also be nerve-racking time for both you and your children. So, we put together a bunch of helpful and practical tips to help you tackle the new school year like the pro-parent that you are!
1. Bring sleeping patterns back on track
It’s natural for your child’s sleeping pattern to become a little erratic during the holidays. But it’s important to bring their sleeping schedules back on track before school begins. Try this – two weeks before school begins, start putting the kids to bed at an appropriate time to help them get habituated to it. There will definitely be a little opposition at first, but stay strong, folks. A proper and consistent sleep schedule can work wonders for everyone.
2. De-clutter and organize your home
A new school year deserves a clean, fresh space. Get rid of all unnecessary clutter and set up designated study stations/play spaces/craft areas for the kids. Put up a large calendar/daily planner to help you plan and remember weekly activities for the whole family. Being prepared and organized can help lessen daily anxiety.
3. Plan and discuss new routines with the kids
Setting up a comfortable new routine for the whole family is very essential for a successful school year. Fix times for homework, TV, play, family activitiesand so on. Of course, the routine may not always run like clockwork, but it will help give you structure and peace of mind.
4. Encourage proper eating habits
Just like sleeping patterns, eating habits also become a little erratic during the holidays. But when the kids go back to school, it’s important to ensure that they are not only eating right, but eating at the right times as well.
5. Listen, watch and communicate
While some kids love going back to school, many children deal with school-related anxieties such as fear of making friends, fear of not being able to catch up with school work, and so on. Keep a look out for any signs of distress in your little one. Let them know that you’re there to talk and help them resolve any worries, if need be. Keep the lines of communication open at all times. If they refuse to talk, don’t push too much and let them open up at their own time. If their behaviour becomes increasingly worrisome, talk to their teacher, a counselor or someone who can help you get to the bottom of it.
6. Help them warm up for the start of school with fun learning activities
Just like your body needs to warm up before exercise, the brain too needs warming up before your kids go back to school. Help them get started with fun reading and writing exercises, word games, puzzles etc.
7. Shop for back-to-school supplies with the kids
Let the kids be a part of the process. Help them make a list and let them pick out their own back-to-school supplies.
8. Set boundaries for time spent with electronics
An appropriate amount of “technology-time” is good for the kids, but make sure you monitor it and set reasonable limits.
9. Set aside time for unstructured play
Yes, school days can get pretty hectic but it’s necessary to make time for your little one to simply go outside and play, discover and explore. In other words, don’t forget to simply let them be kids.
10. Help your kids develop confidence in themselves
Instilling a sense of confidence in your child can help them in so many ways. Here are some ways in which you can do this:
- Give them age-appropriate responsibilities to help encourage independence.
- Don’t be extremely pushy with schoolwork/extracurricular activities. Instead, help them develop a love for learning and encourage their hobbies.
- Remember that every child is different and so are their learning capacities. Let them move at their own pace. If you think that your child has a learning impairment, discuss it with their teacher or a child development expert.
- ‘Listen’ when they talk and have meaningful conversations.
- Help them build strong social skills by teaching them to be polite and friendly.
- SHOW them that you love and support them.
11. Plan play-dates with other kids
Socialize with the other parents at your child’s school and set up playdates so that your kids can develop steady friendships.
12. Get to know your child’s teacher
Talking to your child’s teacher will help you keep track of your kid’s activities and progress over the course of the year.
Most of all, don’t forget to have fun! Tell us – what are you most excited about/most nervous about for the new school year?