It’s the beginning of a new school year! Many kids will find themselves in a new classroom or school with new teachers, supplies and maybe even new friends. While countless of these children will find it incredibly exciting, there will be some who will feel overwhelmed and find themselves in distress. It is a TRANSITION from summer, two months of lesser demands, to a new grade level. Now they have to sit and attend for longer periods of time, follow directions as well as deal with many different emotions. It WILL require adaptability from their part. We need to be there to support these kiddos, the ones who will struggle, the ones who have a difficult shifting between people, places and things.
The following are 3 steps that are recommended for parents/caregiver to follow in order to make the transition process a lot smoother:
1. Get organized:
Get the school schedule in advance
Plan out your routines (bedtime routine, morning routine, school pick up/drop off routine, after school routine)
Create visual schedules for your children if needed with pictures for them to be able to have a step-by-step list of what their day would look like. For example, morning routine (e.g. take a shower, get dressed, eat your breakfast, get your supplies and be ready to go)
2. Prepare your child
Get them excited! Talk to them about all the things you know they love about school.
Read them stories about going back to school
Allow them to have a visual calendar for them to see when school will start and be able to visualize the weekend as well.
3. Be prepared yourself
Know that it might be difficult for your child and recognize that IT IS OK.
Understand that the more in control of your emotions you are, the more you will be able to help your child when they feel overwhelmed.
Follow this mantra: “I am in charge of being calm. No matter how my child behaves”.