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.