Ready or not, it’s back-to-school season already. Feel like summer just started? We do too, but here we are. Your kids are probably dreading it more than you are, but you can ease their return to school by avoiding these common mistakes parents make.
- Sharing your own negative feelings about school - Even if you had a negative experience or school was a total nightmare for you, everyone has a different experience. So hold off on telling your kid about how bad it was for you and hope for the best for them.
- An overly emotional meltdown at drop-off - Leaving your precious little one in the hands of strangers on the first day can be emotionally rough, but your reaction really sets the tone for them. So try to avoid the tearful scenes and give them a “I know you’re going to do great, champ,” then go cry alone in the car.
- Lack of preparation - Have you seen the list of supplies kids need these days? It’s a lot, plus all the clothes, shoes and other gear they need, so it’s better to go shopping sooner than later so you’re ready on the first day.
- Minimizing their emotions - It’s easy to dismiss your kid’s anxiety about school by saying something like, “You’re just nervous, it’s no big deal.” But it IS a big deal to them, so listen, acknowledge and reassure.
- Not adjusting their bedtime in advance - You can’t expect your kid who’s been up past 11p.m. every night this summer to just be able to go to bed at 9 the night before school starts. Try gradually getting them in bed earlier a couple weeks before the first day so they’re not falling asleep on their desk at school.