Whether your babe is starting school/kindy for the first time this year or if you are a seasoned school parent, going "back to school" after the Christmas holidays can be a pretty emotional time.
Your babe is growing up - taking steps away from you and towards independence. That comes with its own feelings that are behind a lot of the first day of school tears for both Mums & Dads.
It can be emotional for our kids too - some kids will run off to school with no looking back and others will be clinging to you like a nylon dress on a 40 degree day. Each response is valid and normal.
We've put together some tips to help over the first few weeks of adjustment. Before you know it school drop offs may even feel like a relief #handball.
Prepare them, but don't pressure them
In the lead up to school/kindy we as parents often feel it is our responsibility to tell our kids just how much 'fun' they are going to have. We try to convince them that school is a 'fun' place where they will 'make lots of friends' and 'have a great time!'
For particularly anxious children, this type of language can be counterproductive and the truth is, school isn't always 'fun' for a lot of kids.
It is our job to prepare them for school but not to put pressure on them to feel a certain way ("You are going to love school!") or to do certain things ("You are going to make so many friends!").
If your child is anxious you can help prepare them by...
Validating their feelings
Role-playing different scenarios
Wake up early
Give them autonomy
Sometimes it is easy to forget that our little people have their own opinions, thoughts, likes and dislikes, especially when we are rushed in the morning trying to get out the door.
But getting them involved in making decisions not only allows them to take responsibility for their choices but it helps empower them in their day to day. Rather than telling them what to do we can give them power over the areas of their life that they are age-ready for, which allows them to feel in control and secure.
Some of the ways you can give them autonomy over school based decisions are...
Getting out the door on time
Have you ever noticed the more you tell your kids to "hurry up" and go faster the more likely they are to need to show you how high they can jump (for the 3589th time) and tell you all about their Paw Patrol dream?
They RESIST being told to hurry. Instead try some of these phrases...
"Let's pack your bag and then run to the door!"
"Let's get our shoes on quickly so we have time to see your friends before school"
"Do you think you can climb into your car seat and get your arms in the straps before I buckle in *insert siblings name here*
Small changes in the way we word things can help with power struggles and make the mornings less of a battle. Remember, it's tough for them to not be in control of their own schedule and at the mercy of someone else's time frame.
Tell us how your back to school went below in the comments and while you are here check out some of our range of mindful gifts and resources.