Getting back into the school routine for both parents and children after the holidays is really tough, the usual negative associations, emotional resistance, whines and sudden tummy aches or other ills appear. We’ve got a few back to school tips to ease anxiety in kids. We all want to try and help make things just that little bit easier for everyone.
This new term shake it up a little to enjoy the process and change the way your child thinks about School.
Here are some top tips to help your child feel more confident, new term ready and looking forward to going back to School:
Like an athlete, getting ready BEFORE the event is essential. The first of our back to school tips is to do this together. Getting the kids involved helps them feel part of the process and doing it with them reassures them. Uniform, bag, pencil case, etc.
Action: Make a checklist together and suggest they get creative and colour it in or make it look nice. The better they feel about these simple things, the easier the back to School process will be.
Behaviour Creates Behaviour
Either negative or positive, attitudes and actions are easily transferred, take a check of your own and inoculate yourself from any negative to avoid the angst merry-go-round to begin.
Action: Make things fun. Clearing up from the holidays, going out to the shops, last minute homework or projects, can all be made into fun activities with very little imagination and a big smile.
The “What If” Monster
Your child’s worries may seem minor or not real, but they are to them and if not dealt with can turn into bigger anxieties and fears. If they keep feeding the pesky ‘what if monster’ it’ll surely grow bigger, capture those early, talk through them and then focus their mind onto happy, positive thoughts.
Action: Create Holiday Memories. Make a list of 3-5 things they enjoyed about the holidays, print photos so they can make a collage or write little memory notes and quotes they can take with them each day to School to remind them when the worries try to creep in.
A lot of communication is sub-conscious, the inner voice in our heads that is often negative, unhelpful and detrimental to our mental well-being, this includes kids too. Unfortunately, we’re programmed to think negatively first, the good news is you’re only one decision away from changing that and helping your child too…
Action: For the next 24 hours focus on how you communicate (internal and external) and become aware of any negative language (I can’t, I’ll never, I’m…). Each time you become aware of the negative, change it to a positive (I’ll keep trying, when I get this I’ll…). Now take your awareness to your child’s communication and each time you hear a negative or detrimental communication, guide them to swap the negative for the positive.
After sleeping our mind and body need motion, which creates positive emotion. Other than the normal rushing around in the crazy panic of the School morning, take a few moments to move, stretch and really wake up.
Action: For younger children… they stand up and stretch as tall as they can like a Giraffe. For teens… they choose a few body parts to focus on stretching, like hands to write neatly with, feet ankles and legs to be strong in PE. At any age, walk up and down the stairs a few times, a game in the garden anything to get the body going and mind ready for the day.
Many households across the country have some kind of news on in the morning, what a start to the day to consume all that negative doom and gloom. Or maybe they’re online gaming, filling their mind with the wrong things for the start of the day.
Action: Turn off the negative and play uplifting, mood enhancing music. For younger children this could be a soundtrack from a film like the Greatest Showman or Mary Poppins. For teens some like pop music, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa. Create a School morning playlist and you’ll all be starting the day with a smile and spring in your step.
Break-fast, the most important meal of the day for feeding the mind and body. Protein is one of the essential elements missing from most children’s breakfast these days, instead they’re filled with sugar (too much makes them hyper) and carbohydrates (and too much of this makes them lethargic), not good for a productive and mood balancing day at School!
Action: Plan in advance to help with the breakfast rush and avoid grapping on the go. Yoghurt and mixed fruit, banana. Yoghurt on wholegrain cereal, eggs and toast, porridge made with a mixture of full fat milk and water. Nuts, seeds (if not allergic) and raisins sprinkled on cereal or yoghurt are all great options for increasing the brain-feeding protein for a balanced start to the day.
These back to school tips should help you to have a little less stressful a week with the kids. We do have other tools and articles on the site to help with confidence, do check them out:
- Printable worry tree; so that you can offer a platform for the kids to talk about their worries,
- A fabulous planner to help your kids to be happier,
- Tips for encouraging resilience in kids,
- Anxiety in kids – downloads to help assist generally, and
- And finally, we have a fabulous article on five steps to a positive bedtime routine for kids, which help them go to sleep on a happy note ready for the morning!
For more great back to school ideas, do check out these resources from my fellow kid bloggers too:
- Make it a bit light-hearted with some Back to School jokes from Happiness is Homemade,
- Little Bins for Little Hands has some back to school pre-school science, and
- We’ve got some first day of school printables too from Living Montessori Now.
Here is too a good start of school for all! If you are already back; pin this one for later.
Thanks for stopping by, and good luck.