Going back to school can be a difficult time for little ones, especially if they are starting with a new teacher, going to a new school, or even just adjusting after a long break. With a little encouragement, and a little bit of bravery, your kiddos will be set up for success.
Allow your little ones to feel nervous or scared and help to ease those worries with focusing on things they can control. Telling children, “Don’t worry” or “Don’t be scared” does not often result in the desired effect.
Instead, try validating their feelings.
“I know you’re scared, and that’s okay”
“Would you like to tell me about how you’re feeling?”
“I sometimes feel nervous about doing new things, too”
Encourage them to focus on what they can do to feel more prepared and excited.
“Can we try on your new shoes? You can wear them to school if you’d like!”
“Would you like to pick out the folder you want to bring with you?”
“Are any of your friends in your new class? Maybe we can see them soon!”
Provide reminders about what to expect at school and tools they can use to stay calm.
“Remember your classmates will be sitting in the room just like you.”
“Your teacher’s name is _____. They are there to help you learn.”
“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can always take deep breaths”
Although bravery is a feeling that comes from within, it is important to create a supportive and nurturing environment where bravery can flourish. Allowing a safe space for nervousness and worry to exist at home will help to guide a path for bravery to be established at school.
In those moments we are feeling not-so-brave, here are some things we can do to help.
Focus on what you can control.
Think about what you’d liked to wear. Include every detail right down to the socks. Pick an outfit you love that makes you feel your best.
*Frida has on her very best red hat!
Pack up your backpack with everything you’ll need. Think about notebooks, pencils, water bottles, and maybe even a good luck charm (Frida perhaps?) to bring along.
*What do you think Frida would like to bring?
Use your senses to keep you feeling present.
Look around you and try to notice: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste
Close your eyes if you’d like, take a few deep breaths, place your hands on your tummy, and feel as the air fills you up like a balloon before it deflates again. Frida is here, too, if you’d like to give her a quick squeeze!
We did it! We found our bravery again, and we are feeling more ready than ever to get back to school.