How to Mentally Prepare Your Children for School this Fall

How to Mentally Prepare Your Children for School this Fall

Calendar-IconJuly 4, 2022  |  SCHOOL
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Summer break is a time for fun, discovery, and play for many children. However, the transition back to academic life is not always an easy one.  


Children often struggle with change, and this can lead to disruptive behavior, boredom, and even anxiety.  


If you want to help, make the transition from summer break to school as easy as possible for your children, then there are a few simple steps to follow.  


This post will go over the steps to take to help your children mentally prepare for school to ensure that they have both academic and emotional success in the coming year.  


Tips for Preparing Your Children for the School Year 


The start of the school year is difficult for many children. It is often filled with anxiety, dread, and other negative emotions.  


Follow these tips to help your children acclimate to the school year.  


Talk with Your Kids About the Upcoming School Year 


This tip is especially helpful if your children are young. If they are not used to going back to school year in and year out after summer break, then they might not know what to expect.  


Let’s break it down into three different age groups and what you need to make sure each group understands. 


  • Age 5-6 
    • These children will be entering kindergarten or first grade. This will likely be their first experience with all-day school. Make sure they understand that they will be in the classroom all day and separated from you and other familiar faces. 

  • Age 10-11 
    • Elementary school is ending, and middle school is beginning. The students will be more mature, children will face different pressures than before, and puberty will begin for many students. On top of that, classes are starting to become more demanding. Make sure your children are prepared for more difficult academic loads and changing social pressures.  

  • Age 14+ 
    • As they reach a certain age, they might be tempted to take on adult actions and behaviors. Students will begin their transition into adulthood. This means that they will face pressure and have urges to try sex and drugs and partake in other adult behaviors. As they begin to grow older, they may take on more responsibilities, such as their first job, driving, or larger household responsibilities. Be sure that your children are aware of these changing pressures and responsibilities. 


Always be sure to start your talks by listening to your children about their anxieties and concerns. Brainstorm some ways to help curb stress and some strategies they can use to combat their anxiety. Also, be sure to ask them some questions about returning to school. This can help start the year out on a strong note and build excitement for the school year.  


Reacclimate Your Children to a School Schedule 


Summer often comes with a loose schedule, variable sleep patterns, and less responsibility.  


The best way to combat this is by easing your children back into a school-like schedule a few weeks before the school year begins.  


Here are some tips to help: 


  • Start early. Don’t wait until the last week. Start as early as mid-July reacclimating sleep and mealtimes.  

  • Take it gradually. Don’t readjust bedtimes and mealtimes all at once. Likewise, don’t pour responsibility on your kids without warning. Take it slow. One hour (or a half-hour) at a time per day. This will help your kids transition more easily.  

  • Be consistent. Never start the process only to allow your children to fall back into bad routines right before the school year begins. This is a recipe for a messed-up sleep schedule.  


Help Your Children Practice Self-Care 


The best thing you can ever do for your children is to give them the tools to take care of themselves. You may be anxious over your children’s struggles, but you cannot be there for them 24/7.  


Here are some tips for helping your children practice self-care. 


  • Have them spend some time alone with their thoughts. Have them identify their feelings. It can help if they write them down. 

  • Have your children talk about their feelings. This conversation can be with you, or you can encourage them to talk with children their age. If their emotions are intense, then a therapist may be the answer. 

  • Help them deal with conflict in a calm manner. Instead of releasing their emotions in the heat of the moment, allow your child to calm down before expressing their frustrations.  

  • The best way to encourage self-care in your children is to practice it yourself. Show your child what it means to care for yourself, and they will be more likely to do the same.  


Preparation Means a Better School Year for Your Child 


If you want the transition from summer to school to be as smooth as possible for your children, then you must start preparing by mid-July or early August.  


Be sure that your children know what to expect and the pressures they will face.  


If you need additional help or are looking for resources, then it may be time to reach out to Child Focus.  


At Child Focus, we offer early learning, behavioral health, education and training, and more. See the difference we can make in your child’s life when you reach out today!