Tips for going back to school

Amany Abdel-Moneim , Monday 26 Sep 2022

As the summer season comes to an end, it is time for your children to go back to school. With their return from summer break comes the need to return to routine and normalcy.

Back to school


And while some children go back to school full of energy and motivation, others might find it difficult to fit back into school discipline and can feel really tired following the summer holiday.

Going back to school can cause anxiety to the entire family. Transitions are hard on all of us, and children are no exception. It may take them some time to adjust back into their routine. And whether your child is moving to a new school, going into secondary school, or starting primary, this transition will need to be carefully planned and sensitively managed.

Here are some expert tips that can help make the transition from home to school easier after the summer break:

Talk to your child

Explain to your child that summer is now over and it is time to get back to school and other daily activities. Thus, you can help them mentally prepare for the transition, instead of being surprised the day before. Remind them of the daily routine, such as school drop off and pick up, homework, and everything else that happens during term time.

Share their feelings

As the back-to-school date approaches, don’t underestimate the anxiety this temporary unsettling of routine can cause your child. Ask open-ended question that will allow them to express their concerns about going back to school. Listen to what they say in a non-judgemental way and avoid criticism. Show them empathy and use positive affirmations such as it’s okay to feel this way or you will get through this. If you remain patient and flexible and acknowledge your child’s feelings, the return to school and daily routine will be much easier for the whole family.

Restore regular bedtime

Extended breaks often mean extended bedtimes, and this can make the transition back-to-school even tougher. Before back-to-school time comes, try gradually getting your child back into a typical bedtime routine by reducing naps to restore normal sleep patterns. This can make your child happier and healthier as they return to school.

Remain calm

Being patient and supportive during the transition can help your child get back to their old self in no time. Your stress or anxiety levels as a parent have a direct impact on your child. Children absorb every emotion from those around them, and it is important to help them feel secure. By remaining calm and confident your child will realise that they have nothing to worry about and that everything is under control. Even if you are concerned, try to maintain self-confidence as this will help your child get through the transition period.

Be organised

Don’t leave things to the last minute before going back to school. The school run and morning routine is already hectic. Get all uniform, lunch boxes, and book bags ready the night before and be consistent with this approach.

Start a new routine

To avoid stress on the first day back, try to wake up earlier than usual to allow enough time to get ready. Try to leave the house earlier than you would normally leave for the school run to allow enough time for early morning traffic.

Reconnect with school friends

Reconnecting with school friends will help you and your child manage any worries and feelings related to the transition or school resuming after summer break.

Prepare yourself

Back-to-school time can cause parental anxiety too, which can create additional stress in your child. Do everything you can to feel in control of the situation and allow your child to head into school without too much delay. When children arrive in the classroom with their classmates, they generally settle very quickly. If you believe your child will find transitioning difficult, be sure to inform the school beforehand so that you and your child can be supported.

  *A version of this article appears in print in the 22 September, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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