The back-to-school season is always full of excitement, which naturally brings with it some anxiety. This year, additional uncertainties may have your child feeling more apprehensive about the transition than usual. And as a parent, it’s difficult to not have control over all aspects of what the future might hold. However, there are still a few simple ways you can create a feeling of stability that will last throughout this school year.
Build routines you can stick to
Having a consistent structure to daily life is helpful for your whole family! Your child will feel more comfortable knowing what to expect each day—plus, when your expectations have been clearly built over time, it will be easier for your child to meet them.
The key to building routines that last is to make sure they truly work for your unique family. To get started, take some time to think through each family member’s preferences and needs, and envision what an ideal day would look like. Then, work together to create a daily schedule that fits that vision. You can start small with just a few consistent items, and slowly build toward a full routine. Remember to check in periodically on how the routine has been going, and make adjustments as needed so that it’s truly working for everyone.
If your child is in third grade or above, they may be ready to keep track of their own daily schedule. This will help them build time-management skills, while helping you out, too! To support them, check out helpful resources like a My Day worksheet, weekly plan, chore chart, or this fun chalk checklist.
Discuss feelings as a family
Carve out some time each day specifically to talk about emotions. Check in with your child about how they’re feeling, and talk through any negative emotions they may be having. And to help your child build a habit of positive thinking, have them pick out one good thing that happened each day and describe why they liked it.
Encouraging your child to reflect on their own emotions, while providing a supportive space to share them, will help them get in touch with how they’re feeling. And even if it’s only for five minutes, that focused personal time will be extremely helpful in the long run.
Support your child’s social-emotional growth
There are many different ways to support your child’s social-emotional development at home. You can create fun craft-based activities like a gratitude jar, a calm-down bottle, or an internal weather report. Or, try some yoga poses and practice mindful listening. Check out the full library of social-emotional resources at Education.com, and choose a few activities that your child will love.