Difficulty adjusting to school
School is in full swing, but you may find on some days your child may start the day off, especially Monday, with tears, or maybe a tummy ache. They aren't faking it, anxiety affects the body, and could cause actual aches and pains in children. But don't worry, it's not unusual for kids to need a little extra help adjusting to school. Here are a few tips that might make mornings easier!
Give your child a way to hold onto you during the day- For many kids the hardest part of going to school is saying goodbye to you. Develop a parting ritual such as a hug and a saying you repeat everyday. " I love you, you love me, have a great day, I'll see you 3!" Maybe put a laminated picture of the family in their backpack. Many also like a token for their pocket, such as a paper heart with a love note, or a seashell you found on the beach together, that they can feel and hold for reassurance if they feel alone.
Laugh out the anxieties instead of crying- Giggling is a child's way of venting anxiety,
and any child who is having a tough school year, may feel anxious or fearful inside. Give them as many opportunities as possible to giggle! Spend some time every morning playing a chase game in your house, tell silly stories or jokes, see who can make the funniest face! You'll find their separation from you goes more smoothly.
Stay connected- Start your child's day with a five minute snuggle in bed or on the couch. Just bringing 100% of your attention to loving them. Make sure that every day after school when you're reunited, you have special time put aside to hear all about their day. Maybe it's taking them to grab an ice cream cone, or a quick run to the
grocery store to spend that special one on one time with them. Doing little things like that will increase their sense of security.
Be alert for reasons why they're worried- Most of the time kids do fine after a couple weeks. But occasionally, their unhappiness indicates a more serious issue; maybe there's a bully, or they can't see the blackboard, maybe they're having trouble following along and they're too afraid to speak up. Ask calm questions about their day, listen deeply and reflect on what they tell you. If you feel there is an issue you can't seem to get to the bottom of, reach out to their teacher for more help.
Create a calm household routine- Getting your child ready for school begins in the home. It is important to have a consistent and calm household routine, which should feature peaceful mornings and early bedtimes. If you struggle getting your child up in the morning this indicates they are not getting enough sleep, they will feel restless and frustrated in the morning, which can result in tantrums when it's time to leave for school. Making sure your child gets enough sleep is very important, follow a familiar routine and ensure the bedroom is cosy and the temperature is right.
Following a few easy tips will help your child cope with school. It is not hard to see why a lot of children find it difficult to adjust to school. It's about making school become the norm; somewhere they feel safe and comfortable. Hopefully you'll have no more tears and tantrums in the morning. You may even find your child doesn't want to come home at the end of the day!