Returning to school can be a joyful time of year. But for some children, the new school year can bring some anxiety. Will I struggle like I did last year? Will I make any new friends? Will the teacher like me?
To help reduce that anxiety and replace it with a sense of joyful anticipation of what the school year can bring, here are some tips that may help create a more happy, successful school year:
- Communicate a positive attitude about school and have belief that your children will experience success and happiness. Communicate to your children that you are excited about the new school year and are confident they will enjoy it. Children pick up on the messages we send, so let’s make those messages optimistic and hopeful.
- Create supportive home routines. The school year calls for renewed attention to home routines, such as those surrounding bedtime, mornings, and meals. Children thrive on the routines that parents establish. It provides comfort and security and better prepares students for the routines and expectations of the school day.
- Avoid the temptation to make schooling a competitive sport by over-focusing on grades. Our culture is often fueled by competitiveness in all areas of life. Let’s enhance our children’s school experience by focusing on their own talents and growth and avoid comparisons with others.
- Establish family rules related to cell phone, TV, computer, and video game usage. There is a place for electronic learning (and playing), but every minute in front of a monitor is a minute away from family communication. Children who are allowed to have their device at bedtime often stay up late and come to school tired. It’s a good idea to take the device at bedtime and charge in a central location.
And one more tip for good measure: Take care of yourself. We are no help to anyone if we are not taking good care of ourselves. Take care of yourself - physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, relationally, and spiritually. Make it a priority - for your sake, as well as for your children’s.