With the start of the school year just around the corner, children, young people and parents and carers can be feeling both excitement and stress.
Kids Helpline head of client services Brendan Bourke said going back to school, starting school for the first time or moving from primary to high school could bring new challenges and uncertainties for children and their parents and carers.
“Parents know school transitions are not just an important milestone but also a crucial time in a child’s development,” he said.
“Often these times set the standard in terms of how they develop coping strategies, problem solving skills and ways of seeing and understanding the world outside their family.
“Kids Helpline believes by providing acceptance, encouragement and support to children – and also remembering to look after your own wellbeing – parents and carers can help ensure the new school year gets off to a great start. Kids Helpline’s school tips for parents include: • Be excited about the new change. If you are enthusiastic and confident, your children will be too.
• Plan lunches the night before to avoid the early morning rush and any unnecessary stress.
• Start and maintain daily routines that will add structure and make your child more at ease.
• Don’t forget a healthy and nutritious breakfast. Students are more alert and perform better at school if they eat a good breakfast.
• Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep each night during the school week.
• Take 15 minutes out at the end of the school day to listen to your child’s stories. • Take time out for yourself. Kids Helpline gives children and young people choices, support and someone to listen. It is Australia’s only national 24-7counselling service specifically for children and young people aged five to 25 years. Free call 1800 55 1800 or visit www.kidshelpline. com.au for more tips.