Over the past week, a number of parents have shared their thoughts and fears about the start of school this fall.
Some parents are anxious to send their kids to school so that everything can get to the new ‘normal.’ In the meantime, others lie awake at night worried about what school will look like. Will it be safe, and should they keep their kids home or not?
This will be different for each family based on their situation, their feelings, and their experiences.
Regardless of what you choose to do, from a psychological standpoint, focusing on YOUR and your family’s well-being is more important than making sure your child does all his schoolwork or that your house is spotless. I realize this is easier said than done.
Please hear what I am saying. Things are not going to be perfect when school starts. They will not go back to what was normal anytime soon. None of the options are ideal.
However, there are things you can do to make the most of it!
Start Practicing Now …
If you are sending your child to school, start practicing now.
Continue to talk about things you would anyways -but make it a point to notice and talk:
Handwashing -How many bubbles can you make? What song should we sing?
Cover your mouth when you cough. Cough into your “Cough Catcher” (elbow! not hand).
You could even wear masks around the house or in one room of your house. A bathroom might be a good starting place because you are not in there that often (on most days).
If you present this as a game or as something that big kids get to do, it is less scary or bothersome. The more you practice, the easier and more normal it becomes.
School at Home? Home Schooling?
While these are two totally different things, they both share the fact that your child will be in your house and most likely will be working on an electronic device for some of her schooling.
Think about creating physical boundaries (change of scenery) for different activities. When your child needs to be focused and paying attention, he will sit at a specific table. Have some specific school supplies near-by. When it is time for recess, your child will need to physically move somewhere else.
Your child will also need to physically move! Make sure you schedule in ways for your child to burn off or release energy a few times throughout the day.
Think about setting up a schedule. For some families, this can be a loose schedule (same activities happen in the same order). For other families, it will be important to schedule things at specific times (school starts at 8:30, snack at 9:15, etc.).
These are just a few ideas for getting ready and reducing anxiety as the new school year approaches.
If you would like to join a lively discussion and connect with other parents who are in the same “uncertain” boat as you, please join my Surviving the Start of School Facebook group.
Surviving the Start of School was originally started to help parents (and their children) transition out of summer and into school. This year, it has taken on a whole new purpose.