The kids are heading back to school and it can be quite challenging for parents and children to make the adjustment of school routines, worries about academics, fitting in with peers in school and bullying are some of the concerns. Here are some little reminders to get ready for the new academic year.
1. Ease into school routines
Parents, especially those with younger children, can help their kids prepare for school by getting them on sleep, meals, homework, play and extra curricular schedules that are in sync with the school day.
2. Academic refreshers
A couple weeks before school starts back give your child short school like assignments from some of their new books or even some revision from their old books. If you send kids to school without a little revision it is harder for them to get back into the groove of academics.
3. Get to the root of back-to-school jitters
Most school-aged children look forward to the first day back, but for those who are anxious, figuring out why can help. If children are worried about seeing friends again, arrange some get-togethers with friends before school starts. If the child fears having a new teacher or being in a new classroom, schedule a classroom visit before the school year.
Look out for avoidance behaviors, like crying, clinging or complaining of feeling sick to their stomach and asking to stay home.
July/ August might have been a reprieve for children who have been bullied at school. Bullying tends to decrease in schools where adults are responsive. Parents should help their children identify trusted adults at school who can help, including teachers, administrators, janitors, counselors or other staff.
Cyberbullying usually happens when kids are at home. Parents must encourage children to say when something on Facebook or email hurts their feelings or causes embarrassment.
5. Pressure to fit in
Parents of adolescents, especially those entering secondary school, might see some behavior changes as children try to fit in with peers.
Keep having conversations with adolescents about their values and who they are. Make time for family activities like riding bikes or playing football. Parents should have “check in” talks with their adolescents often to make sure everything is going well in school.
6. Cell phones, computers
Before the school year begins is also a good time to remind kids of the lasting repercussions of sharing photos, video, texting and other forms of social media electronically. Parents also should get familiar with these tools since they will have to monitor their kids use of these tools.
Similarly, remind teens that email is not private and to think twice before firing off disgruntled emails about teachers from the school library computers.