I remember when I was a kid the apprehension about starting back school. The weeks prior to school starting I often felt sad, frustrated, and irritated that my wonderful summer was coming to an end. I often found myself dreading that month where you went into the Grocery Store and saw the “Back to School Sale” sign with school supplies, on display, in the front of the store. Or the JC Penny commercials sponsoring children in back to school clothing. Even worse was that letter in the mail that told me the teacher I had for the upcoming year, my lunch bell, class schedule and the rest… All of it was simply dreadful. I don’t remember a time where I was actually excited for school, but I remember plenty of times where I felt down because school was starting and that meant more than 200 days of classes, homework, and early mornings. Somewhere, deep down inside, was room for excitement and I simply needed an outlet to pour out the negative feelings, and the nervousness–so that by the time I started school it wasn’t a “negative, rather it was an event that I was excited about.
I’d say that most children under age 15 probably had the same sort of emotions as I did weeks prior to starting school. I’d also say that a majority of children need that outlet–that I was talking about–in order to process these emotions and feel better about the “start” of the school year. A lot of parents simply do not realize that MOST children WANT to be excited about school, but have a hard time conveying this due to the variety of emotions. This is why I believe that it’s important that as parents we focus on creating ways to revv up our children so that they feel excited about the school year. It’s also important that we address the mixture of emotions by creating outlets for our children to explore while they process their attitude about going back to school.
What are the ways to rev up your child?
1. Back to School Outfit–The catch is to let each child pick out one REALLY funky outfit that they can wear on their first day. Even if you don’t want to spend the cash, or even if the outfit seems “too much”–allowing the child to pick out their “back to school outfit” will really give them something to look forward to.
2. Back to School New look–This could be allowing your daughter to get highlights in her hair or funky hair colors. Haircuts. An additional back to school ear-piercing. For your boys cool Mohawks, cool hair cuts, etc.
3.Back to School Party--A week prior to school starting have your child throw together a small get together with his/her friends. Have pizza, cupcakes, punch, music and your children and their friends can sit around and discuss their schedules, their teachers and their first day.
1. The day before school take your kids out to lunch and just have a mellow talk with them. Ask the children what their fears are, what their excited about, if they’ve talked with their friends and what their going to wear. Make the lunch extremely comfortable for the child so that they feel comfortable to talk with you about how their feeling.
2. Sign them up for a dance class, Karate class etc before school starts so that they can use these outlets to work through their emotions.
3. Family vacations–This could be camping, visiting relatives. Take them somewhere away from their usual environment so that they can relax and have a good time before school starts.
These are great starting points. Do you have any suggestions? What do you do to rev up your child for the school year? What’s worked, what hasn’t?