By Janice Russell
School just started, and already your child has come home upset. Perhaps it was something minor, such as a lost pencil case, or perhaps there is a serious problem with bullying. In order to get to the bottom of these difficulties, you’ll need to communicate with your child and give him the best tools to prevent future back-to-school disasters. Here are tips to help transition from summer to school.
Problems You May Encounter
Some of the top concerns your child may be experiencing according to Empowering Parents include the following:
● Not behaving and/or paying attention in school
● Being unmotivated
● Getting up in the morning
How can you prepare for and prevent these issues?
Start with Communication
There are two keys to opening communication with your child:
● Listening to Him
Never dismiss your child’s fears or concerns out-of-hand. Acknowledge your child’s emotions because it will help him to feel more secure. You can then guide him in creating his own solutions to the problem.
● Opening Dialogue With Him
Throughout the school year, you should be discussing difficult situations with him, such as peer pressure and drugs. If you don’t know how to start, read these eight tips from Aha! Parenting on how to get your child to talk with you.
Preventing Future Disasters
When Your Child Won’t Go to School
One issue is when your child refuses to go to school. He may say he has a stomach ache right when it’s time to leave or experience a full-blown tantrum. Make sure your child isn’t sick first by taking his temperature.
If he’s not sick and still refuses, Psychology Today offers several strategies.
● Communicate with your child, but be sure not to lecture him.
● Have a conference with his teacher and school counselor. Both parents should attend if possible.
● Make it unappealing to stay at home. He won’t be playing games and TV all day but resting.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
According to the Sleep Foundation, difficulties at school may be caused by poor sleep habits. In fact, research shows that sleepiness can lead to slipping grades. Even 17 more minutes of sleep resulting in better grades so be sure your child is getting the right amount of rest.
Create a Morning Routine
ChildMind recommends setting up a morning routine to help your child get back in the swing of things. You can create a schedule of easy steps for him to go through each morning and praise him as he achieves each step. It’s also very important to make sure he eats a healthy breakfast that includes protein. If he’s not hungry in the morning, you may want to get him up a bit earlier.
If your child struggles to get dressed or has a tantrum when he does, these 15 tips from Today.com provide calming ways to solve this issue, like creating a menu of clothes and limiting his choices.
Organizing your child’s items can help reduce back-to-school struggles. Find a place for everything, storing things near where they’re used and putting similar items together. For example, keep school supplies where homework is done, and sneakers, boots, umbrellas, and coats near the door you use most often. Designate a place for each item at appropriately accessible heights and locations.
Another good way to get organized, according to BabesAndKidsReview.com, is to make sure that you label everything including lunch gear and backpacks.
Homework will go more smoothly if your child has a great workspace. She Knows recommends you choose the right area, making sure that it’s well-lit and can keep him motivated. The right desk for his height and posture is important too. Learn how to pick the perfect desk at Pottery Barn.
Back-to-school challenges will arise but with these smart solutions, you can give your child a better chance at a successful school career.