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Back to School Blues: Help Your Children Transition Back to School with Less Stress

Returning to school can be a difficult time for kids.  During the summer kids usually go to bed later, sleep in and their days are full of lots of fun activities and fewer rules.  All of the sudden, everything changes!  They have new teachers, new classes, homework and a lot more structure and routine in their day! It can be overwhelming so it’s no wonder some children have trouble transitioning.

Here are a few tips you can do to help ease the transition back to school:

Start lowering bedtimes in small increments prior to school starting back.  It is hard to expect someone who has been going to sleep at 10pm to immediately go to bed at 8pm. Lowering bedtimes in small increments can also decrease power struggles.

Have your child set some goals for the new year.  Ask about and listen to what they identify as struggles from their previous year.  Have them come up with their own goals and strategies on ways to improve in the new school year.  This gives them... something to work toward and often gets them more excited about getting started.

Help them get organized! Set a date to get their school supplies.  Make it an event.   After you have gathered all the supplies have an organization party.  Help them figure out the best way to set up their folders for classwork and homework.  Have a place for the extras. Set up a homework stations with the extra paper, pens. Each child should have a designated place where they will do homework and put important papers.   

Try not to miss your schools Open HouseThis is especially important if you have a shy or anxious child.  Meeting their teachers can ease anxieties and gives children the opportunity to get to know their near future surroundings. Knowing what to expect is half the battle in facing their fears.

Ease them into a more structured daily routine!  If they don’t already have basic expectations of responsibilities at home, now is the time.  Once school starts there is less time and crazy schedules.  Determine, based on your child’s age, what they can do to help out around the house as well as taking care of their own things.  Have a scheduler of their daily responsibilities.  One way to help with power struggles when introducing new expectations is to use an incentive chart.  This gives them a sense of accomplishment.  The immediate gratification from earning a star or getting to check off a completed task helps them stay motivated. Plus, just like adults, it’s hard for kids to remember everything they need to do without a list!

Organization and making family life easier is what our company was founded on. Our charts are a great way to introduce basic expectations to children.  For younger children, we recommend the I Can Do It! Reward Chart or the My Daily Checklist System.  For kids that are reading and writing, we suggest the On Track! System which is easily adapted for every family. If you’d like to hear what others say about these products, here is a link to a review from Old Schoolhouse Magazine on some of the products mentioned.

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