Ah Summer! Who does not love those long, lazy days hanging by the pool, staying outside long after the sun goes down, cookouts with friends, and consuming what should be considered an illegal amount of ice-cream and freeze pops? Of course all good things must come to an end but that does not mean the next phase in life can not be good too. As kids and adults transition from one season to the next it is important to emphasize the positive. Instead of being sad to put away your bathing suits, get excited about trying a new sport or activity. Look forward to picking apples, getting Halloween costumes, even planning a winter get away. Show your kids how excited you are to move forward and they will be excited too!
Simple tips to make the summer to school transition easier for your family!
- Plan a back to school party and invite friends your children may have lost touch with during the summer. Spending time with other kids, who may be in their classes, will help ease anxiety about returning to school.
- Talk to your children about some of the changes that may take place. Let them know if they will be going to bed and waking up earlier. If they need to bring lunch to school, discuss what types of food they would enjoy having. Prepare them for how their days will look during the week compared to how they have been spending time recently. Stay positive about these changes and encourage them to ask questions.
- Make Labor Day weekend a ‘See You Soon Summer’ celebration! Recap some of your families favorite activities from the summer. Everyone should pick something they loved doing, whether it was catching fireflies, having a cook out with friends, or going swimming, and plan the holiday weekend around these activities.
- If bedtime and wake up times need to be adjusted prepare yourselves a week in advance. Go to bed at least 10 minutes earlier each night and wake up 10 minutes earlier until you reach the desired time. This also works well the week before daylight savings time begins and ends.
- Many schools allow students to do a walk through before the first day starts. This is an opportunity for children to explore the hallways, see where their classes will be held, find lockers, and maybe even say hi to their teachers (who are often there preparing their rooms).
- For younger children practice their new morning routine one or two times a week before school starts. Lay clothes out the night before, set an alarm, eat the breakfast that will be eaten during a normal school day, etc. Having a trial run will help ease anxiety for first time students.
- Start an exciting first day of school tradition. Go out for ice-cream or dinner, or stay home and prepare your childs favorite foods. Talk about the day and make it clear you are excited to hear about everything.
- Do not let September mean the end of all things summer! Depending on where you live there could be plenty of warm days ahead and spending time outside should be a priority long into the Fall. After school go to a park or near by lake. Ride bikes and go for walks. On the weekends plan to rent kayaks or peddle boats, go for hikes, or even a mini vacation at a near by lake or beach. These types of activities can help ease the burden of returning to a more mundane routine.
Choose the most relevant and age appropriate suggestions and you are sure to help ease back to school anxiety for both you and your children.
The end of summer will no longer be something to dread, it will be a time of new and exciting adventures!