Easing Back into School Routine – A Bag of Tricks and Tips for Parents

For children, going from days of lazing around, sleeping late, waking up late to stuffing themselves with ice-creams and mangoes, to having to rise with the sun and keep a smiling face for the first day at school can be a major shock.

Here’s how you can help them to make this transition easier, if not enjoyable.

Reset their body clock. Chances are that your children are staying up till late and sleeping only when their eyes can no longer stay open. You can help them by starting to put them to sleep earlier than that. It has to be gradual. And no. Don’t except it to be easy either. They will resist, give excuses and generally give you a hard time about it. The trick is to shift all their activities to half an hour earlier, so that their bodies learn to recognize the pattern before sleep. Gradually keep increasing this time till you get them to their usual sleeping time. Ideally, this practice should start 2 weeks before schools reopen, but if you have missed that mark, then never mind. The sooner you start the easier it will be.

Dealing with “I don’t want to go to school”. Some children may start off like this. It usually happens because all human beings resist change, unless the change is perceived to be more fun. To deal with this, you will need to gently probe to find out why your children don’t want to go to school. Generally, there is no clear answer, but if they genuinely have a problem, make sure you lend it an ear and help them sort it out.
In other cases, like the ones listed below, it is best to be non negotiable and yet empathize with them wherever possible.

·         I don’t want holidays to end! Well who can blame them? Don’t we feel the same way towards the end of a vacation? The best way is to remind them about the good things at school like clubs, theatres, their best friend or favorite teacher.

·         I’ve heard my friends say school is going to be very boring. Point is your child feels it is going to be boring. He just wants to put the blame on someone else. Be emphatic and remind them that they will find out only once they go to school. 

·         I don’t want homework. The first few weeks at school are revision time. Remind them that it won’t be hard work at all and that their teachers understand that and are always going to be there for them whenever they need help.

·         I’m worried I will have no friends. Social worries are difficult to address. There may be real reason behind them. They may have felt left out during the last session. Try and arrange with his best friend’s mother for them to have lunch together. Or meet them after school so that your child has enough time reconnecting with his old buddies

Going back to school after a long hiatus can be very trying for children. But you can help them get on the right track with the suggestions given above!