If the title has you saying "yeah, right" then this blog post is for you. If you are running around like crazy trying to get it all together and also dealing with anxious little ones, then read on!
It's All In Your Head: The first days, or weeks, of school can be upsetting for young children. Remain calm even if your child is anxious and don't make too big a deal out of it all. Talk about it in a reassuring, lighthearted way. If you act as though it's going to all be fine, your kids will take your cue. Kids are geniuses at picking up on your real feelings. Easy does it!
Making Their Days Full of Smiles: When you talk with your kids about their day, look for the positives: Did anyone do something funny today that made you laugh? What is the coolest thing on the playground?
Preparation is Key: Reassure your child that they are in good hands and that they will be seeing you again in just a while. A special treat, a cute family photo, a sticker or a silly note in their lunch bag or backpack is a good idea, too.
Homework: Allow your child some play or relaxation time before starting homework. Remember, homework is an opportunity for kids to develop self-discipline by completing work independently, so resist the temptation to help too much. Sit with your child initially and "work together like grownups". Your assignment can be paying some bills, entering the school calendar on your computer or updating the Christmas card list. The companionship will insure that the homework experience isn't lonely for your child. Plus, you will be on hand if they need some guidance.
Dinner and Bedtime Routine: Feed everyone early enough so that there is enough playtime and reading time before the lights go out. The time before you say goodnight is also a good time to talk about any uneasy feelings your child may have about school. Hear your kids out and reassure them and soon they will drift off to dreamland.
Get Organized: A calm morning goes a long way toward a good day. The night before, make sure you know if there is a field trip or anything special your child needs for his or her school day. Parents, and kids who are old enough, can pack backpacks, pick out clothes and make lunches the night before. Showing your child how to get out of the house happily and on time with what they need for the day is a skill they will appreciate later!
Keep your sense of humor because soon enough the routine will be, well, routine! Try not to worry too much about an anxious child during these first few weeks. It is usually due to excitement more than unease.
An easy-does-it attitude, being prepared and open ears and arms equals a recipe for success!