With summer coming to a close and school on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about adjusting your child’s schedule in order to make the transition from a relaxed summer schedule to a more organized one.
Transitions like this one can be tough for young kids, so it’s important to have some tricks up your sleeve.
Stephanie Simpson, one of Grandview’s social workers, shared a few tips that may help with this transition.
“Starting school can be a very emotional experience for both parent and child. This can be even more difficult, depending on the child’s behaviours,” says Grandview’s Social Work team. “One way that parents can help ease this transition is to prepare themselves and their child for this next stage”
Tips for the Back to School Transition:
- Share your child’s unique likes, dislikes, fears and habits with their new teacher. If the teacher has a fair understanding of your child, this will help to ease the transition and enable proper care to be provided.
- Visit the new classroom with your child. Show them where they will be eating, sleeping, playing and learning. Introduce them to the teacher. When school begins, the child will be a little more familiar with their new classroom, and this may make the transition easier.
- Shorten the first few days. Shorter visits will give your child more time to adjust.
- Prepare the night before. As much as possible, prepare lunches, school clothes, etc. the night before school. This will allow you both more time to prepare in the morning, and reduce the stress that accompanies being rushed.
- Allow the child to bring a favourite object from home to comfort them.
- Have a calm and positive attitude. Children can be very sensitive to the moods of their parents and will quickly pick up on any tension in your voice, touch or mannerisms. Some suggestions include singing a favourite song or talking about what the child will be doing that day. Break things down into simple tasks and routines that the child can follow.
- Take time to say goodbye in a positive way. Do not sneak out while the child is distracted. This can destroy trust and make for a more difficult transition.
- Avoid repeated goodbyes. Once you have said good-bye, leave. Stalling can make a child more fearful.
- According to Stephanie, a temporary period of adjustment or feelings of parental guilt or worry are completely normal.
“If necessary, arrange for you and the teacher to communicate by phone during the day to let you know how things are progressing, and to discuss any issues that may have arisen,” says the Social Work team. “Stress from separations and adjusting to new situations can be extremely difficult and challenging for parents and their children. With careful planning, this adjustment period can be shortened.”
We hope these tips help you and your family with a successful transition out of summer vacation and into a fall school schedule.