After weeks on end of late bed times, fun in the sun and possibly too much telly, it might time to get the brain working again and maybe instill a little more discipline in your kids' daily lives – yay for school! The school bell rings, and off they go for another year of educational adventures. Their lunch boxes are brimming with nutritious snacks, their uniforms are still intact, and no one has had the chance to lose their pencil case yet. So how can we make sure our kids are ready to return to school?
Re-set their body clocks by putting them to bed a bit earlier every night for the last week of the holidays. This will ensure they are rested, at their very best, and are back on 'school night' bedtimes. You don't want to be wrestling with exhausted littlies who refuse to go to bed the night before school.
Start getting them up early the week before school. It doesn't take long for our bodies to become accustomed to lie-ins, so the sooner we break the habit, and return to regular waking times, the easier it will be once term begins.
Instigate conversations about going back to school, and give your kids the opportunity to express and explore their feelings. Validate their concerns and be empathetic, share your back-to-school stories and really big-up all the things that the new year has to offer.
Give your kids a head start, and use the holidays to help them to gain confidence where it's lacking, or to improve in the areas which have been identified as being problematic. Try to incorporate this into games or puzzles, so it doesn't feel like homework or cause upset.
Encourage friendships by phoning people on the new class list, and inviting them to play. Give your kids the opportunity to get to know some of their classmates before their first day, and they will start the year confident and popular.
The bottom line is this: do whatever you can to boost your kids' confidence before school starts, and you will find that they are equipped with everything they need for an exciting and successful year. Of course, a funky new backpack also helps!