As we gear up to go back to school, let's put caring for every child's mental health right at the top of our priority list!
Every child deserves a school year packed with support, by doing this we’re laying the groundwork for a future that’s not just brighter but healthier too. With this back to school focus, we can nurture resilient minds and give each child the chance to not just survive but truly thrive.
Whether it’s the start of a new school year, the jump to high school, or bidding farewell to the freedom of holidays, change can be a tad nerve-wracking. It’s entirely normal for both kids and parents to feel a mix of excitement and apprehension.
Keep scrolling to discover the essentials of school readiness, covering not just the physical and academic aspects but also the crucial mental preparedness. We’ve got you covered with ten top tips to ensure a smooth start, setting the stage for a healthy, bright, and robust school year.
1. Initiate the Back to School Conversation
The first step in prepping for a new school year starts with a simple yet crucial conversation with your kids. Rather than dictating orders, sit them down calmly and engage in a dialogue about what lies ahead. Discuss the changes they might encounter, the concerns they might feel and how you can navigate them together. Remember, it’s not about telling them what to do, but about collaboratively figuring out what needs to be done.
You can continue to make time to talk with your child throughout the year, so they know that what goes on at school is important to you.
2. Start a Good Sleep Routine
Did you know that a good night’s sleep can be the secret ingredient to unleashing your child’s full potential in the classroom? According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, children aged 6 to 13 years old need 9-11 hours of sleep per night for optimal health and academic performance.
Help your child to do better at school by making sure they go to bed early enough and at the same time every night. This will help them to have better learning and understanding skills and to enjoy school more. So, let bedtime become the superhero in your child’s academic adventures!
3. Involve Your Kids in Back to School Planning
Get your kids ready for school by including them in the planning. Ask them to make a schedule that works for them and help set up a quiet homework spot. This helps them feel more in control and responsible for their education journey.
4. Set Term-by-Term Goals
Take on the school year by setting achievable goals! Break down the term into manageable parts by setting realistic goals. Sit down and talk about how the last year went, and team up to figure out how you can make it even better.
5. Encourage Independence
Being involved is important, but finding the right balance matters too. Let your kids explore new things while you guide them. If they want to join school clubs, help by meeting teachers together and letting them ask questions. Give them support and be there if they need your help or advice.
6. Establish Relationships with Teachers
Keep the communication flowing with the school—it’s a game-changer! Get to know your child’s teachers and keep the conversations rolling about everything from how they’re doing in class to upcoming tests and school events. This way, you’re not just hearing about school from your child; you’re right in the loop. Building these connections makes you a key player in your child’s educational experience.
7. Develop Good Homework and Study Habits
Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Make sure your child has a daily, predictable routine, with a regular schedule. It also helps them develop a sense of responsibility and a work ethic that will benefit them beyond the classroom. Knowing what to expect at home helps children cope. Make every effort to be available to answer questions and offer assistance when time allows.
8. Learn From Setbacks
Encouraging resilience and grit in children helps them grow in school and life. By through past setbacks, parents can guide their kids in developing a gritty mindset, teaching them to view challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Studies show that children with higher levels of grit are more likely to keep going through difficulties and achieve long-term goals. This way of doing things helps build their bounce-back ability, which is super important for confidently facing challenges in the school year.
9. Prioritise Mental Health
As the new school year begins, it brings excitement but may also trigger anxiety, especially after a challenging previous year or a transition to a new school. Regularly check in on their feelings and concerns, and be ready to take action if things become overwhelming, creating a supportive and nurturing environment.
10. Be Present
Ultimately, the golden rule is simple: be present. It’s all about being there, not just physically, but supporting and jumping into the thick of their growth and development. Being actively involved in your child’s educational journey makes all the difference.
Let’s navigate this annual ritual with confidence, providing support, reassurance, and preparedness for our children as they start a new school year and ultimately to raise children who are supported, resilient, healthy, and thriving.