Your head is rummaging asking questions: “Have I gotten all the books he needs?” “Will she adjust to school routines?” And then it hits you. You have not gotten her new water bottle! His mathematical set is bad too! And then you feel like the most unserious parent in the world.
Relax, take deep breaths. You are not the worst parent in the world. All you need is some preparation and you are good to go!
Let us guide you with these seven ways to prepare your children for resumption.
1. Gradually reduce your children’s play time: Doing this will save them the shock of having their games and fun abruptly snatched away. Remember, they are still children and may not find it easy to adapt to changes. This is a first step in psychologically preparing the child for school.
2. Have a talk with your child. Communication is not just for adults; it applies to children. Let them know that their schedules will be changing. Have them talk about how they feel about resumption. Let them know first days in schools are not so horrifying. Get them excited about meeting new friends and learning new things. They just may be looking forward to resumption more than you!
3. Change their schedule: Telling them their schedule will change should not end there. Act on it. Let them go to bed early. They should know late nights spent watching cartoons have come to an end. Video games and cartoons are to be stopped. Let them see obvious changes so they do not think it is one of mummy’s many bed time stories.
4. Teach them school life skills: School is a place for learning but we all know they cannot possibly teach everything. This is where parenting comes in. Teach them about socialising with other children, socialising with adults, sex education depending on their age, eating etiquette, toilet etiquette.
5. Get set: Oh yes, preparation is not just for the children. How prepared you are as a parent will determine how prepared your children will be. Grab a paper and a pen and roll up your sleeves. Get into your child’s room. Rummage through his or her closet and school tools. List all that your child needs for school. Pick out what needs to be sewn. Throw away what is not necessary and give out what needs to be given away. Then go shopping with the list.
6. Organise: If you have never organised your child’s everyday school needs, you are simply overworking yourself. Get boxes, hooks and pins. Sort shoes, sandals, socks and books in a box. Set up hooks for clean and used uniforms to reduce searching for things early in the morning and to make laundry easy. You could even get creative by color coding the boxes for easier identification. Organise! Organise! Organise!
7. Get informed: Get information about the school curriculum, the clinic facilities in the school, transportation to school and traffic information, safety of the children at school, after school activities etc. All these will help you adequately prepare your child for a hitch free back-to-school experience.
While it is true that one can never be prepared enough, one has no excuse not to prepare. You owe it to your children to make them have a lovely experience. So daddies and mummies, let’s get working.