Transitioning from summer vacation back to school can be super hard on kids. They get used to the lazy, busy, fun, summer way of life and school seems like a run through the gauntlet for most. Although many are okay with this change, there are some kids who are just not having it. It's an issue when behaviors pop up because they are refusing to go back to school or even talk about it.
Here are some things you can do to help your child make a smooth transition back to the education machine we refer to as school:
1. Talk about it: Bring it up everyday. What are you looking forward to? What do you think will be hard? What can we do about that? What are some things you need to do or have to be successful in school this year? What do you think your teacher will be like? Are you excited to make new friends or are you content with your current friends?
2. What's really bothering them?: The hard work involved in school and home work? The other kids? The teachers? Not knowing what to expect? If you know why they are balking about going back, maybe there are steps you can take to get them ready. Is it a bully? Dress it. Is it the work? Reassure them that they've always been able to do it before. Practice some math and reading in the car while you're on vacation. Is it not knowing? Schedule a visit to the school. Sometimes seeing who and what can make the difference for a child who's worried.
3. Make it seem awesome: Talk about school like it's the best thing since sliced bread. I bet you can't wait to see your friends! I heard school lunches this year are going to be awesome! Maybe I can come eat with you sometime. I'm going to surprise you in your lunchbox with something cool every week. I can't wait to see what you think!! I bet your teacher is going to love that you can (insert cool talent, knowledge here). Let's go to the playground at your school. You'll know how to play with everything before school starts and you can show your friends.
Just remember that everyone feels differently. Maybe you can remember when you were a kid and it was time to go back to school. Were you excited and nervous at the same time? Were you dreading it? Did you count down the days until you could be back because you loved it so much? Maybe you can relate to your child, maybe you can't. Either way, it's important to let them know that you understand that they feel a certain way and you are there for them. What can you do to help your child go back to school feeling safe and successful? Happy Behaving!