It’s hard to believe that in a week or so the long school holidays will be over for another year and the kids will once again be packed off to school, leaving stay at home (and working) parents wondering what hit them.
Although there are plenty of articles giving advice about how to deal with your kids’ anxiety at returning to school, did you know that it’s not unusual for parents to feel stressed out, too? If that sounds like you, here are a few tips for making the transition from holiday mode to school mode less stressful for everyone.
Start with getting yourself organised
September is a time of new beginnings. A new school year, new classes and a fresh start. What do you need in place to make sure that the children get back to their classes with as little extra hassle as possible? Find out their schedules in advance if you can. Are there any uniform changes? Do they need any extra kit for new lessons? If you can get all of this organised before you send them back to school, you can enjoy your last week or so with them without running around like a headless chicken trying to find everything at the last minute.
Be kind to yourself
Being a bit late or forgetting something isn’t the be all and end all. Would you be harsh on your child if they forgot to pick up their gym kit or something they needed? No, you would remind them to be more organised perhaps but you wouldn’t make a huge deal of it – unless it was a regular thing. Also – you can’t be everywhere and neither can the kids, so if they have to skip an event that would be too much like hard work for you to get them to, so be it.
Ease up on the schedule
As parents, we naturally want the best for our kids, and this follows on from not being too hard on yourself. We think that kids need to do things and take part in every after-school activity possible – but that’s not always the case.
Listen to your little ones – they might not enjoy chess club but they really look forward to Learn Play Grow after school. Prioritise the most important and enjoyed classes and don’t feel that you have to force them into activities they don’t enjoy. If children are forced to take part in something, and they don’t enjoy it, it can put them off similar activities for good.
Have some fun
Sometimes we can be so focussed on doing – homework, after school classes and activities – we forget about the sheer pleasure of just being and playing. Do what brings you joy, and what makes your kids giggle in that adorable childlike way. Chase bubbles around the garden, get muddy, play hide and seek. You don’t have to be doing something to improve your educational development to be growing and learning.
Enjoy what’s left of the holidays, let’s hope for some sunshine and don’t stress about September!