It’s that time of year again! Gearing up for back to school can always be a trying time if you have a little one who may be a bit hesitant about leaving mom/dad/siblings for a time, or maybe it’s mom or dad who is having some difficulty with getting used to the idea of their littles growing up 🙂
Regardless, it can be a tough scenario to navigate for all those involved,
Having worked in a classroom setting with young kiddos for the last 12 years (and having 2 of my own, who are both under 6 years old), I hear and see the challnages at the start of the school year! Here are a few ideas, tips and tricks that have been tried and tested over my career in and out of the classroom!
-Give lots of time and notice of the upcoming change to routine. Start prepping with little reminders, like “look at the calendar. I see the start on September 5th, that means in 10 days, it’s school time! Yipee!”
With this, start talking about what the first day will look like. “You’ll go to school with your new backpack, change your shoes, see Mrs. K, see your new friends, play and then mom will come and get you!”
-If needed, start a social story. This is a great strategy to help visit and re-visit the new scenario. Go to the new place, take some photos, and make it into a little book that you can review and re-review with your little. I love to take photos of the outside of school, inside the classroom if possible, washrooms, teacher, playground, etc.
-Stay positive! Make it SO exciting, even if you’re not feeling excited! Kiddos are very good detectives, and can easily pickup if mom or dad or another adult they trust is feeling unsure!
-Get them involved in prep for school! Whether it be shopping for a new backpack,lunch kit or indoor shoes, let them have a say and get excited!
-On the big day, keep it cool. Follow through with exactly what you talked about with your little leading up to the day. If you have a little goodbye routine where you give one kiss and one hug, that’s perfect! Do your little practiced routine and leave your little one in the hands of their classroom team. As hard as it is to say goodbye, keeping it consistent, calm and positive will only help your little feel comfortable, confident and happy in their new environment!
Don’t forget to take lots of photos and try very very hard to keep your tears in check (until you get to the car!). Good luck mamas and happy start of your family’s new adventures!