At this time of year, time is often spent thinking about transitions. This might be starting school, a school year transition or even starting a new school due to being older or even moving house and school.
All children and young people will cope with change differently. Some will take it in their stride, some will cope but need a little support and others will find it very hard. However your child finds this time of transition, here are some little hints and tips that you might find helpful:
Be honest with your child when they ask questions but try not to overload them with information. Drip feed facts and details to them and allow them to have time to process and think about things.
Ensure a consistent approach from all adults around your child. For example, try not to have one person sharing their own anxieties and another not being interested at all. Try also to remain positive in your support and manner.
Even when you think your children are not around be careful what you discuss – you would be amazed at what ‘little ears’ pick up on!
For younger children
If starting school or changing schools, practice the journey to school a few times during the holidays and make the trip fun. Play word games, I spy, scavenger hunts etc
If school uniform has not been worn before or is different for September, then have some practices – again make a game out of it or try it against the clock or dress a large teddy in the uniform.
Think about what lunches your child will have and again try and mimic this at times during the holidays. If they are having school lunches, ensure they get some cutlery practice in (often better not practiced at mealtime – great to do as a play activity with play dough).
If having packed lunches think what will realistically fit in lunch boxes and how easy things are to peel and open.
Practice peeling and eating some pieces of fruit ready for snack time.
Use stories to prepare your child for the school day not only for while they are there but how things will be before and after school too.
Look on the school website at photos.
Also check the school website as there is often good advice included on them.
Encourage some play dates during the holidays to keep up friendships during this time.
Having a few calm, quieter days if you can before the school term starts
For school starters try really hard not to say mummy/daddy is/are going to miss you so much. Replace with mummy/daddy cannot wait to hear about all the fun and exciting things you are going to get to do.
For older children
If uniform is different make sure that they are happy and comfortable
Include them in the ‘naming process’ of all the uniform.
Make sure there are copies of their timetable at home electronically and hard copies, especially if they move to a 2-week timetable.
Practice the walk/bus journey during the holidays so the first day of term is not the first time they do that trip.
Ensure that all uniform, pencil case, other kit and equipment is prepared in plenty of time -try not to leave it all to the last minute.
Start getting your youngster used to organising their things the night before to avoid last minute panics in the morning.
Use air tags and lanyards for easily lost items such as locker keys, bus passes and phones.
For students moving to Year 12/13 or going off to university
There are many organisational and study hints tips and ideas for older students – for more advice do get in touch.
Help available from TCT
With all age groups preparation is key, and our team at TCT are able to offer wonderful support and advice for families at this time. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can help at all over the summer holidays.
We wish you good luck with any transitions coming up and hope your children thrive and blossom in their new settings.