The transition to a new school year can be an exciting time filled with new adventures. But it can also be stressful and daunting for kids who are feeling anxious or worried about the unknown – new teachers, friendships groups, or an entirely new environment. With a few simple strategies, parents and carers can stay calm and help kids to feel confident and optimistic for the year ahead.
Triple P’s top tips for a stress-free transition to school
* Plan for new routines
The shift back to school means earlier wake-up times and longer, busier days for the entire family. Try to deal with this by ensuring kids’ bedtimes are early enough for them to get sufficient sleep. Families can also save time and stress in the morning by prepping lunches and bags the night before. Be sure to leave time to unwind and recharge in the first few weeks back – try not to overcommit to activities.
* Help build positive relationships
It’s important to help kids build positive relationships and social skills, so they can feel more comfortable and confident in social situations. This could include organising play dates, which is a great way to build friendships. And if your child is feeling nervous about handling tricky situations, you could try role-playing so they feel armed with problem solving skills if challenges come up.
* Encourage open and honest communication
It's normal for kids to feel different emotions when it comes to school. Encourage them to open up about any concerns, validate their feelings and try to be positive. Show that you are listening and give open, honest responses. Sometimes these types of conversations happen on a walk or in the car which makes them feel less daunting. Parents and carers can help set the tone, and a positive approach helps children face the future with optimism, not fear.
Triple P has a variety of free online parenting courses to help parents and carers confidently handle challenges.
Register now at triplep-parenting.net.au
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