Back to school supplies start hitting the stores around the Fourth of July and sometimes even earlier. Kids will usually react in one of two ways; excitement or total dread.
My children have had both reactions depending on the year. We usually try to get their sleep schedule back on track by waking them a little earlier for a full week prior to the first day of school. This is one of the worst jobs. I have always been in favor of not waking sleeping children unless necessary. The first few days are pretty rough especially if they have been sleeping in all summer. But after a day or two they begin going to bed earlier and the sleep cycle adjusts itself.
We talk about all the exciting things they will be learning in the upcoming year to bring some excitement and interest to this transition. Keep the talk very positive. Discussing which friends may be in their class and which teacher they are hoping to have also builds excitement.
Our middle daughter received an Individualized Education Plan after she suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. We wrote into the plan that she could come to school a few days early to meet her teachers and receive a tour, if it was a new school for her. In addition, teachers met with us to discuss her Plan and learn what accommodations she had to help her succeed. This step alleviated so much anxiety for her and us. She was able to tour the school and classroom without any other students present so it wasn’t too overwhelming for her. She could ask questions, learn her routines, set up her desk, and get to know the teacher a bit before school began.
Parents experience anxiety as well. For us, we were always waiting to see how the year would go. Meeting with the teachers allowed us the opportunity to introduce our daughter, her condition, and the expectations. Many teachers have approached us and let us know how important this step was in getting to understand our daughter and her needs.
It’s not just the kids who need to quell their anxieties at this time of year. Take a deep breath and breathe for a few minutes and we will all get through another transition to bigger and better adventures.