|Beat Back-To-School Blues
by SARA AHMAD
Meeting a new teacher, fears of the unknown, anxiety about separation from home and family and concerns about making friends can make a youngster feel stressed and pressured when returning to school or even to daycare. Parents can help kids beat any back-to-school blues by listening to their kids and scheduling special family time before the school-year or return-to-childcare routine returns. Here are some tips for making the transition easier for both parents and kids alike.
Talk About Fun Learning Opportunities
The most important thing that parents can do to ease back-to-school jitters is to talk with their kids and let them know some of the fun things that will be planned during the upcoming year. For younger kids, read books about school and play school with them. Most daycare centers transition back to a school-like structure in pre-school, so tots should know what that will be like as well. If possible, let your child meet his teacher or caregiver prior to the first day.
Transition To A Back-To-School Routine
In the week leading up to a return to school or fall routine, transition kids back to bedtime and wakeup times. Have your child practice, teeth brushing and prayers that still puts head on pillow at designated sleep time. Go through expectations about getting dressed, eating breakfast and appropriate grooming so that everyone gets out of the door on time. Remember, this may take some practice, so start early!
Plan Ahead For Morning Stress
If at all possible, establish a routine where clothes are laid out the night before, complete with shoes and socks and other essentials. Any choosing should be done before bed, and no change policy enforced. Have kids tell you before bedtime what they will want for breakfast, and then stick with it. For youngsters who need lunches packed, have those ready (or mostly ready) the evening before as well, so all that needs to be done is last-minute touches before you dash out the door.
Provide A Lovin' Feeling
Tuck in a family photo into your child's backpack or write a special note to your child and put in their lunchbox for a special reminder that they are loved. Transitions away from home can be tough, even for older kids, and a simple note (or just a heart with your name can suffice for younger tots) can provide some much-needed reassurance. If the school or caregiver allows it, let your child pick a small toy or stuffed animal to place in a backpack.
Create A Unique Goodbye Ritual
Create a special parting ritual ahead of time with your child and practice it, so that your child is familiar with it and feels extra special when saying goodbyes. Maybe it is a special hug or handshake, a kiss and a twirl, or a set verbal exchange between you (such as "I love you best because..."). It doesn't matter what you do, it's just reassuring to know that you share this special exchange together! And, advice to all parents: don't linger! Say goodbye and then go. All will be okay.
Take Time To Really Listen About A Child's Day
Over-extended schedules, a rush to get to practice or dance class, or receiving a cell phone call at the end of the day when parent and child reunite can destroy the best time to reconnect. Parents need to make it a priority to really listen to what their child says about their day. Parents should ask questions, express happiness at being reunited with them, and focus only on their child. Look over any papers, remarks about any handiwork, and see if there is any "news" for tomorrow.
Watch For Signs Of Back-To-School Stress
Parents should keep their radar up for any signs that their child is experiencing back-to-school stress once the year begins. Classic symptoms include complaints of headaches or stomachaches, tension at bedtime, and emotional goodbyes. If this happens, first respond with extra reassurance and quality one-on-one time. Then, look for ways to re-adjust schedules or preparation rituals, and review whether your child is overloaded with too many activities or hasn't made friends.
Seek Intervention Sooner Than Later
If anxiety continues after the first few weeks, don't hesitate to talk with your child's teacher or caregiver to learn how your child acts during the rest of the day after you're gone. If signs of depression or anxiety remain, then it's a cue for additional action. Sometimes kids are genuinely depressed or stressed over school and additional intervention may be required. Schedule an appointment with the school counselor or your child's pediatrician for their expert advice.
Habits of highly defective parents – stuff you should not be doing while raising kids
Following are some basic mistakes parents make while raising their child. It is better to avoid them for your child's better future.
1. Doing everything for your child/children, lest they become discouraged, frustrated or palpably incensed as a result of their futile attempts to do it for themselves. Never mind their longings for independence and ownership as they grow. Continue on the path to martyrdom by picking up their shoes, making their beds and triple-checking their homework day after day, right through college and into grad school. Fight their battles for them, too, paving the way on every imaginable front. In this manner, you can ensure their dependency for a lifetime.
2. Saying "yes" to your children far too often, even if it spells emotional/financial ruin for you, or reckless endangerment for them. A happy upbringing is all about instant gratification and leniency. Indulge them daily or hourly if need be, so that you might satisfy every whim.
3. Comparing your child/children to others at every opportunity (especially those involving hyper-successful peers, siblings and well mannered house plants) - a practice that serves to solidify feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing. Kids simply adore being held to an unattainable ideal, relishing the notion of not-measuring-up in all avenues of life.
4. Model impropriety at every turn. Launch tirades, throw shoes and by all means, refuse to share your sand shovel. Additionally, hold grudges, damn politicians and say incredibly vile things about the maths you've been expected to embrace since your oldest entered kindergarten. Better still, demonstrate the beauty of white lies, offer your brood an abundance of inappropriate ways to deal with bullies.
5. Always speak before you think. enough said.
6. Introduce the concept of panic to your child/children by routinely inviting fear and worry into your collective corner of the world. The more irrational the fear/worry the better.