Going back to school is tough on every member of the family. Children are anxious to start a new grade and make new friends, while parents and nannies want to make sure the children are as prepared as they can be. But if caregivers stay organized and plan ahead, there are a few things that theycan do to prepare the kids to goback to school,
End of Summer Blues
The end of summer marks the end of zero homework and the beginning of structured days for children. It can be incredibly difficult to transition from having fun in the summer to being in school for eight hours. Not only is it important to make sure the kids have all the right school clothes and supplies, it’s important to make sure they are prepared mentally to go back to school.
The end of summertime blues is not a joke. Changes in day duration and temperature have been proven to cause depression and anxiety. If your child is feeling down, consider using some change of mindset practices together.
Reframing a negative thought into a positive one has proved very effective in treating anxiety and depression. This technique is surprisingly easy and is an easy skill nannies can practice with kids throughout the day.
For example, if you hear the kids saying things like, “I don’t want to start waking up early!” or “I hate doing homework,” suggest happier thoughts about school, such as “But won’t you have a great time with your friends?” or “But field trips are fun!” This small change in thought or in speech, can make the transition back to school much easier for your child.
Rekindling Old Friendships
In K-12 who you hang out with defines who you are and how you fit in. There can be a lot of excitement and also anxiety about rekindling friendships during the new year.
Nannies and parents should attack these fears by reassuring kids and validating their fears. Try to direct the possible anxiety, to excitement about getting to know new people, and seeing others for the first time in months.
Finding A New Look
The best part about going back to school is back to school shopping. Buying new clothes and supplies are one of the most exciting back to school necessities for kids. A new year means a new time for a child to express who they are to their peers.
If parents allow nannies to handle shopping, consider making a day out of visiting the malls and stores. Let thekidshave a say in what backpack and lunch box they get, and pick out outfits (if your school does not require uniforms) and accessories for the year.
Set Up a Routine
Practicinga daily routine, a week or so before school starts will help the kids transition back to school. Nannies should begin implementing a few daily practices to help establish a daily rhythm
● For Mornings:
A good morning routine starts by waking up at the same time every day. wake the children upabout an hour and a half or more before school starts. This will allow them to have time to feel awake and prepared.
Starting this routine about a week or so before school startscanmake first week wake up much easier. Also try waking the teamup nicely, maybe sing to them or prepare their favorite breakfast foods. Nothing says “wake up!” like an enjoyable incentive.
● For After-School:
Before the school year starts, sit down and discuss your daily after school routine. If the older children are walking home alone, be sure to talk about safety and the responsibility of walking home alone.
Getting Ready for Homework
Nowadays, children of all ages are sent home with some type of homework. And as Parents or nannies, it's often up to you to double up as caretaker and tutor.
Many kids dread the idea of returning back to homework. But this is the perfect time of year to share the importance of studying with children, and to implement an additional incentive system. Consider printing out a rewards chart for homework (or even other chores) to keep track of the children’s progress.
Commuting to School
Whether you’re driving the children in the family car or walking a few blocks, take advantage off this time to bond with the kids and learn all about thoughts and perspective.
For example, on the way to school, ask the children about the day coming up. This can be a great way to gauge how the child is feeling in a general sense, and is a great time to help enforce more positive thinking. On the way home, ask how their day went. This will be a great time to teach problem solving skills for any issues they may have had that day.
Not everyone is excited to go back to school. Nannies are often placed in the position to deal with these attitudes, and it can be overwhelming. Luckily, all it takes is a little practicing before the school year starts for the children, their parents and caretakers to get pumped about classes this fall.