You Should Know
Going back to school means getting back into a routine and that’s a good thing. Regular schedules provide a framework for the day and so give order to a child’s world. Routines eliminate power struggles and reduce stress by teaching kids to cooperate and take charge of themselves. Do your best to keep morning, mealtime and evening schedules the same every day, but of course, be flexible when you need to. Remember, children ages 6-13 need 9-11 hours of sleep and teens 14-17 need 8-10 hours. Everyone needs a healthy breakfast.
You may feel it, but don’t let on if you’re anxious too. It’s normal for children to experience separation anxiety at drop off for the first few weeks of school, so you have to be the strong one. You can stay for a bit, but then say you’re goodbyes and go. You’ll only make it worse if you stay too long. Remind your child you’ll be back. You can give them a note or a picture to put in their pocket or cubby to look at during the day. Then trust your child’s teacher to take it from there. It will get easier as the days go by.
If you really want to know, don’t ask that question. Instead, ask about a moment. Was there a moment during the day your child felt excited? proud? confused? amused? worried? cared for? or disrespected? Of course, don’t ask all of these questions on the same day. And do ask them at the right time. Specifically a time you can focus on the answers (like at dinner maybe). Then don’t interrupt, do ask for more details and thank them for sharing. If you know how to do it, you can actually find out how your child’s school day went. Visit us online for a list of questions we found that work.
Students who participate in high-quality afterschool activities perform better academically, behave better socially, and have a greater sense of belonging in the community. Long term participation (over months or even years) is more beneficial than single semester programs. So sign them up for music lessons, encourage them to participate in sports, or help them discover a hobby. It seems that when they know there’s more to life than school, our kids do better in school.