As we approach the end of the year, many parents are busy with preparations for their children’s new school term. They stress over countless tasks such as getting their children fitted for school uniforms, purchasing new textbooks, memorising class timetable for the new year and perhaps even looking for new tuition classes to have their children enrolled in.
However, going back to school in the new year can be a highly stressful time for children too. They could become more nervous and anxious especially if they will be facing changes such as a new school, classmates, or new teachers.
TOUCH Parenting shares what parents can do to help ease back-to-school anxiety in children for a better start to the new year.
LET YOUR CHILD KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
Informing your child of what they can expect when they get back to school can help mentally prepare them for what’s to come. Run through with them their school timetable, their new daily routines, drop-off and pick-up arrangements, and even how their meals will be settled. Helping your child paint a picture of what they will be experiencing can help alleviate any fears and lower their anxiety.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE AND PRACTISE IT
Getting your child used to going-to-school routines would better prepare them for the new school term. Put into practice early the following key routines:
- Time: schedule to wake up and go to bed
- Daily activity: process of washing up, getting changed, eating breakfast, packing school bag etc
- Journey to school: mode of transport, the route to school, boarding and drop-off points etc
Starting this familiarisation process early helps ease your child into the routine and prevents them from being too overwhelmed by the many things to do and remember on the first day of school.
ENCOURAGE OPEN COMMUNICATION AND REASSURE YOUR CHILD
From school bullies to worries about not being able to make friends or achieve good grades – your child may be worried about a myriad of issues as they prepare for the new school year.
Prepare your child emotionally and mentally for this new transition by having early conversations with them. Share positively on what your child may learn or experience in school and take this opportunity to encourage your child to share how they feel about going to school. At this phase, you would be able to address some of your child’s fears, concerns or questions. This helps reassure your child and takes away the anxiety and sense of uncertainly that they may be experiencing.
Asking questions like, “What would you like me to do to help you feel better?” can also help your child feel like they are not alone and empower them to take actions to improve their situation.
KEEP CONVERSATIONS GOING
Even after the school term has begun, your child would still be adapting to this new phase in life. Continue reassuring your child by having daily conversations with them and be enthusiastic about finding out more about their friends and discovering what they have learnt in class.
Of course, this transitional phase is a journey even for you, as parents, and worrying is normal! Get in touch with your child’s school and teachers regularly to have a better understanding of your child’s development and clarify any issues or concerns that you may have.
Have any questions on parenting or want to find out more about our evidence-based parenting programmes? Contact TOUCH Parenting at [email protected] today!
TOUCH Parenting aims to strengthen parent-child relationships by providing parents with relevant parenting resources through every stage of their parenting journey. It conducts informative talks and workshops which empower parents with knowledge on preparing for and raising a new-born, navigating the digital age with their child, parent-child communication, and nurturing resilient children and youths. It is also appointed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development as the Parent Support Provider (PSP) for Primary and Secondary schools in Singapore.