The end of summer is a difficult time for many kids and parents. Days get shorter, the weather is colder, and school supplies get doled out in thick piles of homework.
Sometimes it is hard to make the transition from summer to school easier on your child. Children get used to having more free time, and they know that after long summer vacation, they must start preparing for school. Some children are better at making this transition than others. If you want to help make this time easier on your child, try one of these ten parenting tips.
1. Start Choosing Backpacks and Supplies
One way to help your kid adjust to school is to start choosing the things they will need for the new school year. School supplies can be purchased in advance, and it may take some time, or you may want to get ahead on making new folders, pencil cases, notebooks, etc. Your child can help pick out the things they will need for school. It will get the whole family involved in getting ready for going back to school.
2. Start School Picture Taking
Children love to see themselves in pictures. If they don’t get their image taken until September, they will be very disappointed when they look at the photos from their summer vacation. You can have your child take school pictures whenever you can throughout the summer. Let your child make the choices about if and when they want to take pictures. Sometimes it is excellent for children to have some input into choosing what is going in a photo, rather than having the photographer tell them what to do.
3. Manage Your Child’s Expectations
Talk to your child about how long some of the days will be. Kids can have a hard time adjusting to the idea that they won’t get to play all day. If you explain to them that it is more school than play, they may change their thinking and expectations over time.
4. Make Smart Choices About Getting New Clothes
There are lots of kids who love getting new clothes for school, and some don’t like it at all. If you have a child who doesn’t like getting new clothes for school, try to find something they like. If your child loves to get new clothes for school, you can decide if you want to go shopping and spend a lot of money getting new outfits or going with something more economical.
5. Relax the Rules
Once school starts, it is common for parents to loosen the rules a bit regarding bedtimes, homework, chores, etc. If you worry about your child adjusting to school, keep the rules the same but relax them a bit. You can also begin to reward good behavior starting in August.
6. Don’t Overdo Shopping
It is common for parents to get carried away when they find out that school supplies are being given out at the end of summer, and they want their kids to have everything they need. The reality is that some kids will need everything, and others may not need anything at all. Don’t overdo buying school supplies and things for your kids to do during the summer. It is not a good idea to try to keep up with everyone else.
7. Give Your Child Space
Making a switch from summer to school can be stressful for children who have to get used to new routines, new people, and lots of homework. It all takes time and space for kids can be challenging for them on this journey. Try not to hover over your child and give them room to adjust. You may be helping them adjust to the transition much faster by giving them space to get used to the changes.
8. Give Your Child Some School Space
Kids need time to figure out how much homework they will have and how often they will have it. They need some time in which they can figure out these things for themselves. Hopefully, if you have left your child alone a little bit at times over the summer, they might already know that this will be the case again in school. If your child doesn’t have this sense of knowing how much work they will be doing, try to leave them alone for periods when they are getting their homework done to get some experience in. If you make sure you do this with every child, they will be ready for school.
9. Be Patient with Your Child
Children can often be very impatient and need a lot of reassurance that things will go well in school. It is common for kids to expect the worst when they are making changes. Some kids can overcome their fears, and others need more reassurance. Some teachers have a hard time warmly welcoming every new student in the class, making the deal easier for your child by being patient with them and encouraging them to keep trying even if it doesn’t seem like they will be successful right away.
10. Start the School Year Strong
It can be tough to get your child excited about school, but they will hopefully adjust to school if you start strong. Bring up the subjects that will be taught, such as math and reading. Start talking about how many schools they will be doing and how many days a week. Help them know what they are going to need for the school to make plans for school supplies. If you have a kid who loves to go shopping, a trip to the store is something they may look forward to.
Do you have other tips to share? Please send me a message now, and I will be more than grateful to discuss parenting stuff with you!
About the Author
I’m Andrea Gibbs Born, raised, and still living in New York. I’m a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I’m a blog contributor at Baby Steps Preschool to motivate and educate other parents about how they can get their children ahead of the game in school.