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4 ways to boost your child’s confidence for a return to school

4 ways to boost your child’s confidence for a return to school

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - July 23rd, 2021

It’s that time of year again!

Parents all across the country are replenishing school supplies, buying new backpacks, and sprucing up their children’s back-to-school wardrobes. And I don’t know about you, but I am growing positively giddy over the prospect of an end to marathon bouts of sibling bickering all day long. Yes, summer vacation is waning and the first day of school is waiting for us just around the corner! 

In years past, back-to-school commercials aired showing parents skipping merrily down well stocked aisles of school necessities, blissfully tossing notebooks and boxes of pencils into their carts to the holiday tune “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

This year feels a bit different, though. Doesn’t it?

Many districts across the country are planning full-day, in-person school openings this fall. It is yet to be seen if this will actually happen. But if it does, so many of our children have been learning remotely for more than a year now. And the fact is, they are a bit out of face-to-face practice. Unfortunately, rolling out of bed at the very last minute, throwing on some (hopefully) clean clothes, and logging into their Chromebooks for class has not prepared them for in-person school. They haven’t had practice packing up their backpacks and making it to the bus on time. Or socializing with other kids. Or making new friends. So it’s no wonder that some parents and kids alike may be feeling a bit ambivalent about the start of the new school year.

But here are some things you can do to help mitigate the apprehension and help your kids get back to the face-to-face school game without a hitch:

  • Have honest discussions about the return to in-person school. Allow your children to express their worries and concerns about the start of the school year. Let them know you understand their fears, and keep your responses positive. For example, “I understand your feelings. I can see how it might be scary to think about getting to know your old friends again, and maybe having to make some new ones. If it makes you feel any better, I think a lot of your classmates are probably feeling the same way you are. But I bet they will be excited to see you!”
  • Start a morning routine. I don’t know about you, but since the beginning of the pandemic my kids’ bedtimes are more of a suggestion than a rule. So setting a hard-and-fast bedtime and starting a morning routine that includes getting up with an alarm and completing a morning routine now will help prepare your kids’ bodies and minds for school routines that will begin in just a few weeks.
  • Make designated meal times. If you have not maintained a regular meal-time schedule, now is the time to do it. You want to get your kids’ bodies used to regular meal time intervals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, so they can avoid periods of distracting tummy growling throughout the school day.
  • Make gathering school supplies a team effort. Invite your kids to go school shopping with you so they can pick out their backpacks, pencil cases, crayons, etc. Having your kids choose their own characters, colors and themes for their supplies can help them feel a sense of self expression and give them a little boost of confidence they may need.

The start of in-person school may be daunting, but we have done it before, and we can all do it again. We are all in this together! 

Joyfully,
Heather Wood

Heather Wood is a certified classroom teacher and tutor with more than 10 years of experience and a tutor/teacher for TestingMom.com. She is the mother of her 10-year-old daughter who attends public school, and a homeschool mother to her 8-year-old son who has special needs. 

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