Help Your Kids Reset, Recharge and Be Ready
Ways to help your kids have a successful school year.
Have you ever experienced driving your car from point A to point B and not remembering driving there? You reached your destination safely but basically did it on autopilot. That happens a lot. Your brain is trained to drive a certain way in a certain direction and get you there successfully. That’s because you have driven that route so many times, your brain is accustomed to the plan. The same goes for many other things in life. If you receive proper training on something, learn it and successfully master it, it comes to you automatically. Children are the same way; they need some training.
For most children school is starting back up after a long summer of play and fun. There were days of family activities, hanging with friends, playing or just enjoying not having to go to school. Suddenly the time is up and the kids are back in a structured school environment, being expected to follow rules and work. As an adult, it’s sometimes difficult to get back into routines after being on vacation, right? Well, children are the same. It’s difficult to get back into the routine, back on the grind right after having some down time. It takes a while to get acclimated again. Help your children have a smooth transition back to class by preparing them ahead of time.
Here are a few healthy tips for preparing your kids to get back in their school routines:
- Set up a consistent bedtime
- Have a bedtime routine.
- Talk to your child about returning to school and the importance of proper sleep.
- Help your children prepare materials they will need, such as their backpack, paper, pens and any other materials they will need.
- Have a reading routine. Get them reading for at least 30 minutes a day. Bedtime is great for this.
- Find out who their teacher is going to be.
- Take a walk through the campus together so they know where they are going.
- Remind them of seeing friends at school, recess time and fun activities.
- Talk about future goals with them. Even your kindergartener dreams of being a fireman, teacher or astronaut.
- Give your children positive feedback for participating and following directions.
If you start your children on a healthy routine, coupled with a healthy mindset then they are ahead of the game. Get your children excited about school and learning. School is sometimes a negative experience for kids. They don’t want to leave their moms/dads or siblings after being able to spend so much time with them. They want to be able to continue to play and watch television. Reassure your children that they will still be able to do those things after school. Set up a schedule at home so they have a visual prompt. Visual prompts are a great tool to not only help your children through transitions, but to also positively reinforce them and help them track their progress. Here are some charts you can set up:
- Daily schedule
- Rewards charts using stickers
As adults we receive paychecks for working, right? We feel good when a boss tells us we are doing a good job. Children aren’t that much different. You’d be surprised how far verbal praise goes, such as, “I love the way you got your backpack ready for school”, “you did an amazing job reading that story”. Small, specific verbal praise goes a long way in building your child’s confidence and self-esteem. Visual charts are also good for building your child’s confidence and self-esteem. They can literally see the progress they are making when they look at the chart. When they earn a star or sticker, have them put it on the chart with you. It’s a really good feeling for a child when they know they have accomplished something and done well at it.
As parents we need to be conscious of the fact that our children learn by training and example. Their brains are like little sponges. They often repeat things we say or do. Have you ever had a time when someone said, “Johnny acts just like you”? That’s because children imitate behaviors they learn. Remember, we can help our children recharge, reset and get ready by teaching them the socially appropriate behaviors they need and positively reinforcing them for even the smallest successes. Help your child by paving a solid road to success for them. Prompt them to an enjoyable school experience. Remember, once they are in school for the day, mom/dad can also reset, recharge and be ready for their day. Enjoy.
Written by: Sue McGaughey
About the author
I worked 24 years in special education primarily doing behavior management. Writing has always been my passion. I was lead writer for a Lifestyle and Entertainment magazine for 8 years, until they closed during Covid.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!