Sunday, December 4info@digitalvisi.com

Four ways to ease our child’s transition to school after vacation

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How I used to dread the first week when I would drop off my daughter to school after vacation! I would be sad throughout the day because of her tantrums which would start the moment she woke up to her sad face when we parted at the school reception.

I reached out to other parents in her class for help. They shared equally scary stories of their children refusing to get out of bed in the morning pretending to be sick. Of clinging to them for long periods of time at the school gate, or of the incessant crying that continued for days.

Back to school anxiety is normal, but it can become a nightmare for ‌parents. Vacations mean more screen time, sleepovers with friends, travel, and extra attention from parents. Is it possible to leave all that behind and go to a more formal environment without feeling anxious? Here are some tips that may help your child get into the back in the zone for school.

1. Set up a routine

Vacations mean getting out of the school routine and taking a break. But a routine is important for children since they like it better when things are known to them. Fear of the unknown disrupts their lives. So at the beginning of the holidays, my daughter and I would jointly set a constructive routine which gives her a clarity of what she is going to do next. Establishing her ‘bath time’, ‘breakfast time’, ‘play time’ and ‘homework time’ helped her become confident and independent. An independent child will always feel more empowered and is less likely to have the fear of school.

2. I like my school

 During vacation, we can talk about the school and teachers in a positive light. ‌I‌ ‌would‌ ‌show my daughter the art projects she created with her teachers and remind her of the fun things she did at school. ‌She enjoyed seeing pictures shared by her class teacher containing memories‌ ‌with ‌her‌ ‌friends‌ ‌and‌ the ‌games‌ ‌they‌ ‌played‌ ‌at‌ ‌school.

3. Playdates with school friends

 My own mother gave me the best advice. Sometimes we forget to ask for advice, but grandparents are keepers of wisdom. ‌She‌ ‌‌encouraged ‌me‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌my daughter connect with classmates. I connected with mothers of a couple of children in and around our society who go to the same school‌ ‌and we ‌set‌ ‌up‌ ‌playdates. Take it from me once our children make friends with the children they go to school with, they will never feel ‘back to school anxiety’ again.

4. Preparing to go back

 When vacations are about to end, I talk to her about going back to school and school schedules. She enjoys discussing the cafeteria menu and looks forward to days when her favorite food will be served at school. We set up an early bedtime again to ensure that both of us wake up on time for school. ‌My daughter makes a list of all the school supplies she needs and we go‌ ‌shopping‌ ‌for‌ ‌fun‌ ‌stationery‌, clothes ‌or‌ ‌shoes.

If the child is still reluctant to go to school after doing everything we can, we need to dig deeper. Let the child express fears, so we can address them before the school resumes.

We need to find out if the child has some other issues at school, such as bullying or a problem with the bus commute, which they cannot verbalise. If the child says that his tummy is hurting and he doesn’t want to go to school, we should  try to understand the underlying problem. I sometimes say “my tummy hurts too when someone bothers me at work”. I also ask “What are you worried about?” If the child is still unable to express, we can discuss with the class teacher and try to find the problem and provide support.

Schools in Gurgaon are now ready to reopen after vacation and we hope parents will find some of these suggestions helpful. Top Gurgaon schools partner with parents to make the back to school experience easier and more seamless for children.

For more information on the above subject, write to us at info@vega.edu.in.

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