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The school year is about to begin. Are your kids ready for the opening of classes? Are they prepared to be separated from you?
You can start by getting your children be used to the idea of attending school early. You should talk to your kids about school one or two weeks before classes start. Bob Lancer, parenting expert said via e-mail, “What you want to do is help your child imagine the earlier bedtime necessary, the early morning wake-up, and have her visualizing spending the day in school.”
Moreover, you need to buy school supplies and give them some extra. They will need new notebooks, crayons, pencils, and clothes. It will be better to if you will let you kids pick some of their school supplies but it has to be reasonable. The gesture may add more excitement and anticipation among your children. They would want to try the supplies they bought, especially the ones they picked. When the first day of classes arrives, you can surprise them with a new pencil case or new lunch box of their favorite cartoon characters. This can help them look forward to spending their day in their school.
The school opening is on its way, you should start adjusting your kids’ bedtime schedule. During the vacation they can stay up as late as they want, but then, they will have a hard time waking up early once school starts. If they sleep at midnight, you can send them to bed 30 minutes earlier, then the following night 30 minutes earlier from the previous bedtime you gave them. Do this until you reach your kids’ school bedtime. Besides, going to bed early means getting up on time in the morning.
Furthermore, you should start getting back into the morning routine. Your kids, because of the vacation, tend to be more sleepy in the morning. And you cannot force them to prepare for the day. Since you are sending them to bed early to get their school bedtime schedule back, you can wake them early, too. Remind them that they should start preparing for the day, like taking a bath and eating breakfast.
In addition, you can set up a comfortable place for your kids to study. Your children need to have space where they have the school supplies they might need in doing their homework. The area should be well-lit and clean. “Get them in the habit of going to this place regularly at a time that works for you, and then back off,” said Susan Morley, parenting expert and founder of Parent Coach Atlanta.
Lastly, you should make your children’s schedule work as well as possible. You should know your kids’ schedule, especially their lunchtime. They may need extra snacks, in case they eat early or late. It will be better to bring a portable homework kit. There are instances when you are waiting for one your kids to finish his classes and the other one is in the car, so he can start doing his homework while waiting.
On the other hand, there are children who suffer from separation anxiety when you leave them for school. They will try to make excuses for you to allow them not to go to school or to make you stay with them.
You have to remember that timing is everything. Make sure your children sleep and eat on time. Hunger and sleepiness may trigger separation anxiety and other emotional outbursts. Having complete sleep and a healthy breakfast may put your kids in a better mood.
Then, you should prepare your children for what might happen once school starts. You may start with being apart for shorter periods within the day. You can bring your kids to the house of their new babysitter. It would be better if you will talk about what might happen in school. You can take your children to their new school or day care. Getting them familiarized with the place and the people who your children will spend most of days with will help them be more comfortable when the school year starts.
You, as their parent and role model, must be calm. Your children should feel that there is nothing to worry. If your children see that you are anxious about leaving them, most likely, they will start to be stressed and separation anxiety will attack. You should reassure them that you will be back, then say goodbye sweetly and leave. If you will keep on coming back every time you see them cry, they will not stop throwing a fit.
After your reassurance of coming back, you should come back at the time you promised. This will help your children to build trust and security. Sooner they will get used to being apart from you and enjoy school more. Also, this will lessen their episodes of separation anxiety.
You may try handing them your family picture. They take a peek every time they feel lonely. However, this does not work all the time. There are instances where it increases the children’s anxiety.
The first day of school will be like a walk in the park because you and your kids have prepared for it and you laid out all the things that might happen. Also, your children are at ease because they know that you got their backs as they step inside the place they will call their second home.