Hi everyone, Cecilia Robinson here with a few more tips on easing the transition back to school.  I hope you have all had a fantastic summer break.  Funny how time flies – I just can’t believe we are already on the cusp of February!

With the kids heading back to school next week, I thought I’d take a bit of time to talk about ways to prepare children for their transition from holiday routines to the 8:00am – 3:00pm (+ activities!!!) school day.  A bit of preparation can often save a lot of stress and anxiety for all involved (yes, parents included!).

I certainly don’t have all the answers to your questions. But I have some experience to draw on, especially all the feedback I heard when we ran our Au Pair business, and I’ve learnt a few things along the way.

For many children this will be their first year in school. For some this will be their first year in a new school. And this year, in particular, for many kids will look and feel very different as we learn to live with covid in the community.

So, how do we get our little treasures ready to take the plunge? Here’s four quick tips that can help to ease the transition back into school this year.

4 Quick Tips for Easing the Transition Back to School

1. Talk about school

Talk to the kids about starting back at school and what they are looking forward to.  Try to put a positive spin on their return by focussing on their favourite subjects, catching up with their friends etc.

2. Prepare a week in advance

Start waking the kids up around the time they’ll need to be up and ready for school.  Explain you are helping them get ready for a new routine –

Today is still a day for fun, but we’ll need to be getting up early when you’re back at school!”

3. Early nights

Readjusting your kids’ body clock is essential for easing them back into the school routine. And this isn’t something you can just start the night before. Kids need at least a week of the new routine established before school starts.

While they might not appreciate a 7:30pm lights-out, you will find that after a week or so, they are back into the school routine and are actually so tired they end up finding their own way to bed!

4. Funky school supplies

I might sound silly, but a great way to get your kids excited about school is to let them choose some new stationery for the year! Kids absolutely love stationery, and this little gesture can help to ease some of those feelings of anxiety that might be building up.

These are just a few bits n’ pieces that I’ve picked up – there is a wealth of information available to help parents tackle the challenge of getting the kids ready for their new routine.

Most importantly, take particular care to notice if your child or children are feeling any anxiety about their return to school.  Taking time to speak about social anxiety or any other concerns can often make a world of difference to a worried child.  Encourage, encourage, encourage!

I hope some of these tips prove useful to those with kids heading back to the classroom. School can be an exciting place but can also be a scary place for kids – it really is a journey into the unknown.

Lucky for them, with a bit of love and support, they’ll be set to have an amazing time learning and mixing with their friends.

Good luck and all the best for an exciting year!

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Cecilia Robinson, founder of My Food Bag, and Au Pair Link, is one of New Zealand's most successful female CEOs. Cecilia's business awards include: 'Her Business Best New Business award' in 2009, 'Businesswoman of the Year 2012’, ‘Best SME 2012’ and 'Supreme Winner of the Woman of Influence Programme' in 2017.

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