Make term time happy

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

The tran­si­tion from hol­i­day time back to school can be dif­fi­cult for chil­dren and par­ents, even for those chil­dren who are ea­ger to re­turn to school.

They must ad­just to the greater lev­els of ac­tiv­ity, struc­ture, and for some, pres­sures as­so­ci­ated with school life. Get­ting the new school year off to a good start can in­flu­ence a child’s at­ti­tude, con­fi­dence and per­for­mance both so­cially and aca­dem­i­cally.

Back-to-school time of­ten means sig­nif­i­cant life­style changes for chil­dren and fam­i­lies and mak­ing smooth tran­si­tions be­tween hol­i­day time and the rou­tine of school days, can help chil­dren feel good about them­selves.

Help­ing chil­dren adapt to new sit­u­a­tions can ease par­ents’ minds and give them a chance to be­come in­volved in their chil­dren’s education.

Par­ents and early child­hood pro­fes­sion­als share a role in mak­ing chil­dren feel safe and se­cure as they move to new ed­u­ca­tional set­tings. Par­ents can help their chil­dren (and the rest of the fam­ily) man­age the in­creased pace and rou­tine of school life by plan­ning ahead, be­ing re­al­is­tic, and main­tain­ing a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude.

Here are tips and ad­vice for­mu­lated by school coun­sel­lors and ed­u­ca­tional bod­ies to help ease the tran­si­tion and pro­mote a suc­cess­ful back-to-school ex­pe­ri­ence.

Over­come anx­i­ety: Let your chil­dren know you care. If your child is anx­ious about school, send per­sonal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Re­in­force the abil­ity to cope. Chil­dren ab­sorb their par­ents’ anx­i­ety, so present your­self with op­ti­mism and con­fi­dence. Let your child know that it is nat­u­ral to be a lit­tle ner­vous when they start some­thing new but that it will be just fine once he or she be­comes fa­mil­iar with their class­mates, the teacher and school rou­tine.

Pre­pare your­self: Take note of how your child re­acts to sep­a­ra­tion. If pos­si­ble, visit the new school set­ting with your child and in­tro­duce your child to the new teacher or early child­hood pro­fes­sional in ad­vance.

Es­tab­lish rou­tine: Reestab­lish the usual school day, bed­time and meal­time rou­tines. Im­ple­ment the bed­time and meal­time rou­tines (es­pe­cially break­fast) at least one week be­fore school starts. Pre­pare your child for this change by talk­ing about the ben­e­fits of school rou­tines in terms of not be­com­ing over tired or over­whelmed by school work and ac­tiv­i­ties. Start daily rou­tines that will add to con­ti­nu­ity. Let your child be­come in­volved with pack­ing lunch or lay­ing out clothes.

En­cour­age bond­ing: Ar­range a play­date with an­other class­mate from school, prefer­ably one-onone, so that your child will see a fa­mil­iar face when he or she walks in.

Make time: Put aside ex­tra time, par­tic­u­larly on the first day back to school, for chat­ting and com­mut­ing to­gether. Al­ways say good­bye to your child but re­mem­ber not to pro­long your good­bye.

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