After weeks of school holidays and playing, it can be challenging for children to go back to school. Here are some quick tips to make it a positive return.
1. Try not to talk about going back to school too much, you don't want to build up anxiety.
2. Let them choose their outfit for school the next day.
3. Get them to bed earlier.
Start your bedtime routine at least a half hour earlier to avoid added stress.
If you are rushing it makes the routine less enjoyable and they pick up on our energy. Do not worry about the dishes or other chores for now; it's not going anywhere unfortunately and your child is most important... so be fully present.
Don't be afraid to call in extra help from your partner or family/friend.... repeat after me "its ok to ask for help" it does not mean you are not a superstar parent still.
A good night’s rest makes a happy more reasonable camper in the morning. Same goes for you!!
4. Let your child choose a few books for you to read and then you choose as well- again building confidence by empowering them with decision making.
Add fabulous faith in meet my worry monster as one of your book selections then pick another fun silly book.
Spending extra peaceful time like reading books before bed gives your child(ren) special attention from you, significantly helps reduce any anxieties (in both of you), increases vocabulary and helps with their studies. More importantly fosters your already close bond.
Be fully present, leave your phone downstairs…..kids pick up on everything!!!
5. In Between books make sure you say " I am enjoying our special time tonight and look forward to our special time tomorrow."
5. Before turning out the lights and saying our prayers I like to ask my child if they know who is on their control board right now. (Thank you Inside Out movie for this! I highly suggest that movie for all ages.)
I ask is it joy, anger, worry (we named our worry monster stinky Stan), or is it peaceful Penelope (that’s a character we created and our next book …stay tuned).
If they say they feel worried we talk about it further without pressure. I encourage my child to express what it is they are worried about by saying "when I talk about things that bother me I always feel better after”. I may even say something I feel worried about to help them open up if they are struggling.
Really listen and reflect back the things they say to you. Showing them you get it and are really listening. For example “Oh you are worried about going to school, I understand” then ask " Would you like me to tell you how I defeated my worry monster when I felt scared about something?" They usually always answer with a resounding yes when asked if they want help/advice instead of just offering it, in turn they are more open to receive it. Isn’t that the way with adults too :0)
At this point share a personal story of how you conquered a fear or worry and then read Fabulous Faith in Meet my worry monster ( or any other favorite book like this).
6. Morning routine for Success without Stress.
Do not rush! Try getting up an extra half hour before your child to avoid added stress. I like to get up at least an hour or two before everyone to also get my "me time". I get centered, organized and prepare for a successful, positive day. Don't get me wrong I love every drop of sleep I can get...but trust me its worth it. The benefits are long lasting for everyone including yourself. I will tell you the morning vibe is much different when I do not do this.
Sing a happy good morning song, get silly. Laughter is the best cure for anything!
If your child is saying they feel worried or crying- remind them to do their bubble breathing and tell them “Your worry monster is trying to take control right now. It is making you feel worried when everything is going to be ok. You can stop it, I believe in you. Deep breaths and say your affirmations
Here is some your child can say. Tell them repeat after me. You can do this over an over until they become present and peaceful.
I am ok
I love my school
I am safe
I can’t wait to see my friends
I’m going to have a great day
Today is going to be so much fun
Mommy/Daddy always comes back
I love recess (or whatever their favorite school activity is)
7. If all else fails ask "Do you need a hug?" and don't be the first to let go. I have that rukle of not letting go first because you never know how much they need it.
It is a great idea to give your child some ideas of conversations they can have at school such as:
“You get to tell Kylie about your trip”. ” I wonder what your friends got for Christmas/Hanukkah, I bet you are excited to find out." “I bet your teacher really really missed you, you get to tell her about your new doll and what we did over vacation.” “Oh my goodness your friends are going to laugh when you tell them about..........”
Be upbeat, positive and confident in your child and their abilities to handle the stressor they are facing. Never underestimate the power of distraction and most importantly ABSOLUTELY NO RUSHING! Prepare as much as you can the night before so it's a smooth sailing morning. Backpacks by the front door with your car keys on top, lunches made etc… you get the picture.
be Present, be Prepared, be Positive, be Peaceful annnnnd repeat
Mom/Dad, remember Deep Breaths for you as well, it can be challenging for us that I know.
You got this, Make it a great "Fabulous Faith Filled" day!!
Up and coming Author of this blog Melissa Webster is the recipient of the prestigious Moms Choice Award and Author of Fabulous Faith in Meet my Worry Monster book, used by several esteemed Dr's and Psychologists nationwide. visit www.fabulousfaithbooks.com