The countdown for the commencement of the New School Year has begun. Some parents have had school gear sorted since early December, but for others this week will include rushing around trying to sort out the final details of uniforms, book lists, stationery and the seemingly myriad practical details that come with our hectic family lives.

Apart from the practical side of things, comes the emotional ones too.  Some students can’t wait to get back to school (wouldn’t it be wonderful if they all felt this way?) Others may be feeling quite apprehensive about the coming term. “What will the teacher be like?”  “Who’s going to be my teacher?” “Will he/she like me?” “Will I like him/her?” “Will I be able to do the work?” “Will I have friends?” The list of concerns goes on and on for some students.  Listen to those concerns and talk about them.

We adults know that life doesn’t always go to plan nor how we want it to. Rather than giving a child false assurances, and saying everything will be all good, reassure your child that if any of their concerns come to pass, that you’ll be there to listen and will help them work through things. Teaching our children how to problem solve is a vital life skill and it’s not one that we can leave up to teachers or pass onto other people. In coming weeks, we’ll look at some of the ways parents can pass this skill onto their children.

Several days before school starts, it’s good to adopt a school-day routine at home. While we can be a bit lax during the holidays with bed-times and wake up times, now’s a good time to ease into that routine, so it’s not all such a shock to the system on Day One. Having everything ready the day before helps things run more smoothly on the day before. Finally, relax and enjoy the last few days of the holidays with your children.