Is your child having the back to school blues? It isn’t uncommon for a child to dread the new school year, especially if the last one wasn’t so hot. But there are lots of things you can do help get them in a positive spirit towards school...or at least stop the tears for awhile.
1. Play up the positive. Put the focus on all the great things about starting a new school year, such as getting new clothes, new notebooks, new backpacks. Discuss the possibility of meeting new friends, new teachers and trying new clubs and school activities. Try to help your child see all the possibilities that starting a new school year can offer.
2. Remind the student of all the fun and interesting events that take place during the school year, such as family parties and traditions, vacations, end-of-the-school-year parties. Make sure your child understands that relaxing, family time is not just reserved for summers only. Even show them a calendar and discuss all the wonderful times they can look forward to DURING the school year. Maybe even make a calendar together marking ahead some positive events they can look forward to.
3. If your child has some legitimate reasons for dreading the start of the school year, address these concerns aggressively. Are they lonely in school? Speak with teachers and guidance counselors about providing them with a buddy. Or investigate activities where your child might have a better chance of meeting students they have something in common with. Are there new ways of meeting friends that have been overlooked, such as after school programs or guidance department sponsored events? Could they join band, drama club, chorus? It might be helpful to purchase a few books on the art of making friends and the social skills that can help a child make friends. Read and discuss these books together.
If school is difficult academically, speak with a teacher about
extra help that is available at school, or consider hiring a tutor or older student to help with difficult subjects. A fellow mother in the neighborhood who is not working, but is known to be a great writer or skilled in math, may be willing to tutor for an affordable price. Take some time to try new ways of being organized.
4. Celebrate the start of school with a first day of school party or gift.
Bring donuts and cider to the bus stop on the first morning. Start baking a special cake they can enjoy when they come home from school. Purchase an exciting gift to celebrate the first day, such as a camera so they can take pictures of their activities at school.
Remember: address the reasons why your child dislikes school and stay focused on the positive aspects of the school year.