The start of a new school year is upon us.  As this can be a time of intensified stress, here are some suggestions to make the back to school transition that bit easier.

This list is by no means a subscription, they are suggestions that work for some.  You can pick and choose, they may even inspire you to try something else that you had not thought of before.  If you have ideas that others may benefit from, please get in touch.

Back to School Transitioning suggestions

See the small picture and start with baby steps.  Transitioning is a step-by-step process.  Back to school transition can feel overwhelming.  The advertisements in the media, in shops, the frantic rush to get everything organised.  There may be bus runs, specific school lunch requests, social anxiety and a general feeling of unease at the prospect of so many new changes.

Gently reminding your child that school is a familiar place and reminding them of happy memories keeps it fresh in their heads.

Prepare the environment.  Talk to your child about going back to school.  Remind them of what happens and of good memories they have.  Transitioning is easier when there is familiarity.  You can show them photos of the school.  If you know any songs your child learnt, play them.  Drive to the school and explain that you’ll be going back there soon.

Start the morning routine a few days earlier.

Get your children up and ready by a certain time.  This transition helps their body clocks.  If your child wears a school uniform, let them try it on.  If possible, talk about the staff in the school by name and ask them what they do at lunchtime.

Back to school transitioning is made easier when the familiarity of the new routine is reminded.

Be as matter of fact about it as possible.

Too much of a fuss may cause undue anxiety and also involve your child, where possible, in the planning.

Going back to school after two or three months away can challenge a child’s self-regulation strategies.  The above strategies are suggestions that have worked for some people.  If you have any that you would like to share, please get in touch.

Last, but certainly not least,

Take care of yourself 

You can easily lose sight of yourself while getting everyone else organised.  If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will.  Become aware of what triggers your frustrations.  When you begin to feel overwhelm, do you have a method in place like being able to go for a walk or talk to someone?  Here you’ll find information on services available in Ireland.

Back to school transition is the start of something new.  Go easy on yourself, focus on the small picture of what needs to be done today and the big picture will take care of itself.