As fall approaches, the time has come to prepare our children’s return to school. What are some of the best ways to prepare kids to go back to school? Below are some suggestions collected from Foundation 2’s family counselors, Facebook friends with kids and from around the web. Do you have a great suggestion? Share it with Foundation 2 on Facebook.
If you or your child is nervous about returning to school and would like to talk, Foundation 2 is here for you. Crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (319) 362-2174.
· Start a sleep schedule-from Facebook: Put your child on a sleep schedule a few weeks before school starts-I start backing down bedtimes by one hour per week beginning the first week in August. I also get them up an hour earlier each week. My daughter would stay up until midnight and sleep until noon if I let her.
· Attend the school’s orientation, make sure your child is familiar with the school ahead of time
· Volunteer-Join the school’s PTA. Volunteer when you can. Get to know the Principal, teachers and staff. Build relationships with these key individuals. It will be one of the best investments you make!
· Mark your calendar. Make a note of important dates, especially back-to-school nights. This is especially important if you have children in more than one school or activity and need to juggle obligations.
· Make a picture schedule-from Facebook: I find it VERY helpful to make a picture schedule for the boys for the morning. Usually it goes something like wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, put on your shoes, get your backpack/coat/etc, walk out the door. When they get old enough to tell time I would add times too. It gives them a sense of empowerment and responsibility as well as making sure nothing gets overlooked
· Talk-Talk to your child and listen to what they look forward to, what they are concerned about.
· Let your children know you care. If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Reinforce the ability to cope. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence for your child. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routine.
· Stay calm- If the first few days are a little rough, try not to over react. Young children in particular may experience separation anxiety or shyness initially but teachers are trained to help them adjust. If you drop them off, try not to linger. Reassure them that you love them, will think of them during the day, and will be back.