This article originally appeared on Twigtale and was reprinted with permission.
Earlier this week our friends at Twigtale shared some excellent back-to-school advice for kids from their Twigtale Parent Lab and the experts who script their books. Today, they’ve presented their inspired ideas for helping parents make it through the first day!
“Understand that tears are normal, deep breaths are imperative, and seek out and welcome new parents.” — Katy Tanghe, Twigtale Parent Lab member
Pack an encouraging note in their lunchbox
“If your child is going to kindergarten or preschool for the first time, pack a favorite lunch or snack and a little picture or a ‘heart’ with a note from Mom or Dad. Something like ‘Have fun, see you soon, I love you … ‘ And VERY IMPORTANT — remind your child WHO will be picking them up that day (e.g. Mom/Dad/babysitter/school bus). Be sure they know that they only go home with that person.” — Pattie Fitzgerald, founder/author, Safely Ever After, Inc.
“Invest in some personalized dishwasher- and laundry-safe labels and label everything that goes to school. And do this before school starts! Also, have a special back-to-school meal and go to bed early (or at least on-time).” -Moriah, Twigtale Parent Lab member
Remain calm and confident in your kids
“Try to believe in your child’s abilities to adapt to this new environment. All children will go through this transition in their lives and if your child senses calm and confidence coming from you (rather than anxiety and panic) he will be a little less afraid and will be more comfortable taking this big step. While you should empathize with his concerns, try to think positively and instill your belief in him that he WILL adjust to his new school!” — Jill Spivack, LCSW and Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW, co-founders, Sleepy Planet Parenting and co-creators, The Sleepeasy Solution
Remember it’s okay to cry
“It’s okay to cry in the car after you say goodbye and then to spend most of the morning looking at baby pictures and wondering how the time passed so quickly (and wishing it would slow down). Twigtale books work well for Mom, too!” — Betsy, Twigtale Parent Lab member
“Be organized. Getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing my teeth, packing lunch/backpack, and getting out the door can be a lot to do in the morning. When parents are not organized, they will likely be in a hurry. This creates stress and resistance from kids when dealing with the transitions of the morning. It can also set children up to be late for school, which is a challenging start to their day. However, when a parent is organized they have time to move more slowly, to be mindful in how they prepare the child for the next transition, address any feelings along the way, and invite cooperation through engaging their sense of power. Parents can be organized in so many ways. Get kids excited about school by taking them to pick out a new lunch box/backpack/shoes the week prior to school. Pack lunches and backpacks the night before and invite your child to choose and set out clothes. Make sure kids get to bed on time to increase cooperation in the morning. Wake up and be dressed/ready before the kids so all you have to do is focus on breakfast and being available to assist with their jobs. Leave a few minutes early to allow for traffic and parking so you are not rushed.” — Allison LaTona, MFT Parenting Consultant
Leave time to play
“Don’t over-schedule your kid. It’s a lot of work for little kids going to school. They need time to play and rest after school and on the weekends! Their brains are working so hard at math and reading. They need to pretend and play when they are home.” — Amy Honmyhr, Twigtale Parent Lab member More from Twigtale:
- Teaching your toddler about feelings
- Practice makes perfect: Our plan for telling our daughter her adoption story
- How do you describe your toddler?
- Part one: The story changes, love remains the same
- Part two: The story changes, love remains the same