Do You Know How To Banish Back to School Blues for Good?

grumpyminxySeptember.  Autumn Term. Goodbye Summer Fun.

Old familiar routine that we’ve missed or new unknown chapter that makes us wobble?

 Yikes!

It hasn’t happened yet and we don’t know what it will look like

Change is unknown and scary if we don’t have the confidence to know we can handle anything or the mindset to face our fears head on. Not knowing your new teacher or missing your old one.  Not knowing where you will sit in your new classroom and if you will be with your friends.

How do you feel as the hazy days of Summer come to a close and a new school term beckons?

How is it for your child as you start to post new timetables on the fridge or check that homework is all done?

The very thought of getting back into a routine can be a comfort to many of us, but for others not so much.  I remember the thrill of going back to school as a child.  Not just because I was a Ginger Geek who loved to learn, but because I was usually fully kitted out with new school shoes, bag and snazzy stationery.  From the souls of my patent leather shoes to the tip of my freckly nose, everything about me screamed new, fresh and eager to get stuck in!

What can you do to help your child cope?

Here are 3 practical tips on how you can smooth the transition from Summer fun to stress-free school for you and your child:-

1. Create a Positive Mindset Around School

Changing the way we think and talk about school really does make a difference.  Children of a certain age develop a perception that school is boring / uncool / bad (*delete as a appropriate*).  When we give our attention to what we don’t like about something, that dissatisfaction grows bigger in our minds.  Notice how when you talk about going on a diet, your mind conjures up images of curly lettuce leafs, limitations, ho chocolate or wine, hard work and starvation!  However, when you re frame that thought by changing the language you use, your brain responds in a more positive way.  So you may call it healthy eating or taking care of your body or energising your food.

Avoid the 4 Cs of Complaining, Condemning, Criticising & Comparing

Notice how you talk about school with your children. Do you talk about the teachers you don’t like, the areas where you need to improve, the friends who are mean to you, the early mornings, the stress of the traffic, all the homework?  Or do you talk about play dates, after school clubs, successes, friends who are good to be around, goals for the new term.  Of course we don’ t have to be happy clappers and ignore the problems that school can create like bullying or homework struggles.  These can be discussed and addressed appropriately.  However, if we take a view that there is good in everything, we will feel much happier.  It’s all about making choices 🙂

2.  Encourage Your Child to Independently Address Worries

Sometimes we don’t need to fix things for our children.  They need to go through their own ‘pain’ to know how to deal with it in the best way for them.  Besides, if we constantly show them that our way is always the bes way (it often is but there is nothing like discovering that for yourself), then they think we don’t have the faith in them to do the necessary.

By simply listening and acknowledging feelings, children feel supported and have the space to explore possible options.  Just try it.  Try really hard to listen and play back to them what they saying without jumping in and rescuing in them or telling them what to do.  You may even be surprised that they come up with their own solutions.  Try it with your partner and friends too.  They will thank you for it.

Sometimes, we don’t want unsolicited advice, we want to be heard, understood and accepted.

3.  Practically Prepare Your Child For School As Much As Possible

This may seem like an obvious one as children who are wary of change need consistency and predictability in order to feel safe.  Being safe to an anxious child is their main concern.  They will go to the ends of the earth to ensure they feel safe.

Having enough sleep, getting a good diet, enough water and feeling relaxed will help your child to mentally and physically prepare.  The sleep routine is likely to be a bit all over the place after the holidays -maybe they’ve been used to getting a lie in and now that early alarm clock is going to feel like a lightening bolt.  Preparing as much as you can the night before school will help – bags packed by the door, uniforms laid out on their beds, lunches made, petrol in car, shoes cleaned.  You get the picture.  For more ideas, visit this great website 

Back to schoolSmiley’s August “Back to School” Master Class

If you are interested in learning more practical tools and techniques to prepare your child for school, the please come and join us for my Back to School Master Class at the arty Riverhouse Barn in Walton on Wednesday 27th August 2014. 

To the theme of Treasure Island, not only will we have fun playing games, but the magic of coaching in small group (10) is that children learn they are not the only ones feeling this way.  The dynamic is such that they end up helping each other which is incredibly empowering. Click here to find out more or book your place.

“Ben had a fantastic time this morning at the workshop. He was almost floating with happiness on the way home.  Thanks Lisa see you again soon.”

“Thanks for the lovely workshop this afternoon. My daughter has already asked if she can go on the next one! Her favourite bit was the arty crafty activity and think she got a lot from the other activities too. Thank you.”

“Thanks Lisa. Both girls loved this morning and my youngest daughter wished you were her teacher! They want to do another one now.”

“Thank you Lisa, Miles had a lovely time yesterday!

If you are unable to join us for this workshop, please sign up to my newsletter to stay in touch for new dates or go to my Eventbrite page where all my current workshops are listed. Super kids workshops are  on the last Sunday of every month at Weybridge Scout Hut.

 

Image credits © www.studio49photography.com

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