It’s back to school time. In our house that means new sneakers and a sprinkling of tears (child and parent).
Our two-year old started K2 this week. In addition to new teachers and classmates, this year brought another milestone, moving up to the “big boy” school building. While the school does its best to create a smooth transition for children and teachers, some anxiety and tears (and occasionally wailing) are an inevitable part of working with kids (and their parents). C, while a pretty good natured kid, did not quite buy into the excitement of moving up with the big kids and expressed his displeasure at the disruption in his routine by clinging to my leg whimpering, “Mommeeee.” Let’s just say there were no dry eyes on the way to work after that.
For those of you whose children have already, or are about to go back to school, there is hope! A recent article from ABC news provides some tips, which I find are especially good for those with young children. Suggestions include making the transition gradual (an especially good approach for children who have not spent a significant amount of time away from the primary caregiver), reading about going back to school (there are a slew of great books for children of all ages), and touring the school prior to drop-off.
The Washington Post’s Parenting blog also offers some helpful tips on making the transition from home to school a little less painful. Ideas include talking with your child about his/her feelings and what to expect, putting a plan into place (I know I was terrified about having to use a combination lock. Bad Chinese food can still conjure locker nightmares!), eating/sleeping well, and my favorite: getting in some good parental stress relief! The article reminds us that our children model our behavior. If we’re stressed, they’re stressed. So, for the sake of your children, go ahead and get that mani/pedi that you haven’t had time for. It just might help alleviate those back to school jitters.
YOUR TURN: Do your children suffer from separation anxiety? Any advice?