The Christmas holidays may be short but after getting out of their normal routine some children can really dread heading back into the classroom. Here at Tutor Doctor we understand how anxious and worried children can get about going back to school after a couple of weeks off. That’s why we’ve come up with some ways to ease your child’s back to school stress, which will be sure to make their first day back a breeze.
Encourage your child to share their fears
It’s important to ask your child what is making them feel worried and reassure them that it is normal to be nervous or anxious. A really great way to do this is to share times when you have felt the same and how you dealt with it.
It’s also crucial that during the first couple of weeks back to school that you dedicate time for them to talk about how they are feeling and most importantly how school is going. Remember some kids feel most comfortable when they are in a private space with your undivided attention. However teens often open up more when there is some sort of distraction to cut the intensity of their worries such as driving in the car or going out for a walk.
Avoid giving reassurance, instead problem solve
Children often seek reassurance that the bad things they are worrying about aren’t going to happen. Instead of reassuring them with “Don’t Worry” and ‘It’s going to be okay”, try and encourage them to solve their problems. For example- ask them to think of some ways that they can handle the bad situation or make it not so scary. By doing this you are giving your child the tools they need to cope with real or imagined situations rather than comforting them.
Role-play with your child
Sometimes role-playing a particular situation can help your child make a plan and feel more confident that they are going to be able to handle it. For example let your child play they part of their bossy friend or a strict teacher and model the appropriate response as if you were them. You will be surprised how calming this will be for your child.
It’s really important to always remain positive and re-direct attention away from their worries. Try and initiate positive conversations by asking questions like “What are the 3 things you are most excited about on your first day of school?” and “Which class are you looking forward to the most?” This will instantly help your child focus on the things they are looking forward to rather than dreading. It’s likely that the fun parts of school are being overlooked by their repetitive worries.
Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep
Sleep is vital to your child’s well-being, learning and growth and is especially important if your child is worried about heading back to school. Try to make sure that you encourage normal bed times and wake up times a couple of days before school starts. This way they will already be back in their everyday routine and raring to go!
Ensure your child is organised
Helping your child stay organised and proactive throughout the holidays is a really easy way to reduce back to school stress. Make sure they dedicate enough time for their homework, projects and revision along with keeping all their work and school books in order. This way your child will be prepared for their first day back and won’t be cramming in a last minute revision or finishing an important assignment the night before.