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Going back to school after the holidays isn’t always that easy; the whole family are used to lazier days, more relaxed routines, later nights and longer lie-ins. Returning to a normal routine can mean mixed feelings. Parents and children may well miss the relaxed and precious time as a family, enjoying the break from getting up early, homework, and the pressure of performing well at school. etc. Conversely, it’s also a time when things can get back to a normal a familiar structure and routine.

So, what as a parent can you do to make the transition a bit easier?

  1. Firstly, it’s a great opportunity for a fresh term and a fresh start.

Hopefully you have had time to share their termly report with your child/ren. If not, why not sit down over the next few days and go over all the positives and talk about the targets the teacher has set. It’s the perfect time to re-fresh everyone about some key areas for focus and attention, and how you can work on these together. Remember, keep it light, as holiday mode isn’t yet geared up for the full on mode!

  1. Share the positives of being back at school.

The children will get to catch up on all their holidays news with friends and peers they may not have seen over the break.  Many children respond well to the structure of the school day and focus on the positives if they like their class teacher, or new after school activities, and enjoy learning new things.

  1. Be honest – share that you enjoy the holidays and having them at home too.

Children love to have the time and attention of their families. Share with them how much you love it too and pick out all the positives. “I love it when….” Tell them you feel the same way, yet this is what life is – we have periods of school time and periods of holiday time, and we can look forward to both.

  1. getting organsied

  • Yes, time to get the school bags out, go through them and throw anything away and re-pack for a fresh term. Ignore any old letters squashed at the bottom dating back to last November, yet merely remind the children to pass on to you any letters they get from home!
  • Check that school shoes, gym shoes and indeed school uniform still fit while you have time to get a few shopping days in around any national holidays.
  • Check for any forgotten homework activities while there’s still time to get them completed without too much of a rush!
  • Time to get a back to school hair cut?
  • Recheck the school timetable – do they need their gym kit etc for the first day back – it’s amazing how quickly these routines get lost in the slumber of the holidays
  1. Sleep

For the whole family, holidays mean later nights and longer lie-ins (if you’re lucky!) Body clocks have become used to this rhythm and so to avoid in inevitable resistance to both going to bed and getting up earlier, start to talk about with your children now. If they are old enough ask them what time they think they should start going to bed this week – striking the balance of being on holiday, yet preparing for the start of the new school term. One idea could be to start going to bed half an hour earlier per night, and start the day a little earlier too.

6.If your child is starting a new school – check it out

If a new school term also means a new school, why not go to the school and test the route and where to park? Yes, it will be busier on the day but at least you won’t be caught out by one way systems, no parking zones, or limited parking. Have a look at the building and the playground. Perhaps you could call the school, and they would be amenable to a visit – it all depends on the school.

  1. Talk about stress / anxiety / worries

Perhaps there are reasons your child is not looking forward to going back. Listen to their worries and tell them they have done the right thing in talking to you about it. If you are worried or unsure how to help them, please get in touch as I’d like to help them – and you be – prepared and feel like they have tools and strategies to successfully manage their concerns.

  1. Enjoy the last few days of the holiday!

Enjoy the holidays – ask the children what they would like to do and share your ideas too. Perhaps there are one or two things that were promised at the start of the holiday that there hasn’t been time to fit in as yet. So, why not plan them in for the remainder of the holiday or even at the weekend if the school term has already started? Family time is precious, so while it’s great to prepare for the back to school routine – enjoy the holiday feeling and time together as much as possible!

Hopefully these tips will make the back to school transition a little smoother. When the children are in school – what will you do to be good to yourself?!